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Saturday, August 29, 2009

11th Hour Preacher's Party

OK. Several months ago I was scheduled to preach tomorrow - but that schedule changed - and now, not only have I not really looked at the readings (uhm, too busy this week, and that's a long story)...but I am not preaching, the Deacon is (her choice, my bad - since now I am leading a Preacher's Party for which I am not really a participant, sigh).

Again...another - "OK" ...I have preached on these texts in the past, at least two other times, so they are NOT unfamiliar texts....therefore let me lead us through some points to ponder....

Perhaps you are pondering this from Song of Songs:

2:10 My beloved speaks and says to me: "Arise, my love, my fair one, and come away;

I love that phrase - what might it mean to "come away?"

OR perhaps you are pondering this from Deuteronomy:

4:2 You must neither add anything to what I command you nor take away anything from it, but keep the commandments of the LORD your God with which I am charging you.4:2 You must neither add anything to what I command you nor take away anything from it, but keep the commandments of the LORD your God with which I am charging you.

What might it mean to neither take away nor add to anything to that which God commands?

Maybe you are pondering James: 1:19 You must understand this, my beloved: let everyone be quick to listen, slow to speak, slow to anger;1:20 for your anger does not produce God's righteousness.1:21 Therefore rid yourselves of all sordidness and rank growth of wickedness, and welcome with meekness the implanted word that has the power to save your souls.1:22 But be doers of the word, and not merely hearers who deceive themselves.1:23 For if any are hearers of the word and not doers, they are like those who look at themselves in a mirror; (Whoa...there something to ponder!)

Or perhaps the Gospel....(Mark)....7:14 Then he called the crowd again and said to them, "Listen to me, all of you, and understand:7:15 there is nothing outside a person that by going in can defile, but the things that come out are what defile."

Goodness, Good News?....Here?

Yes, here, the Holy Spirit will have our backs, and we will indeed, have Good News to share.

Now, what might this mean for YOU, this day? How might you break open the word -and/ or offer a word of support to a struggling sister or brother?

Even though I am not preaching, this Sunday, I do have lots to offer as a means of support: Fair Trade coffee? Tea (black, green, herbal)?...cream, honey, sugar? Muffins, toast?? Fruit?? Eggs??? I have it all. Yes, at least I am prepared in that regard!


  1. Thanks, MP, for the elegant spread. I'm up and trying to get something on paper. I've chosen SofS and the James passage. Not sure why...but once upon a time I was going to talk about life and love, I thought. Now? Not so sure...
    I have blueberry muffins and Earl Grey tea to share....

  2. First of all, that picture is just MEAN! :P Just before I came to the site, I was pondering the fact that I have no food in the house for breakfast, and now I'm drooling!

    Anyway, I'm working with James and sermon title is "Walking the Talk" and I'm trying to work with the idea of living out our faith in the work. Also discussing hypocrisy a little bit. But trying to gentle all the while...

    Will be doing some grocery shopping later, so hopefully I'll have something to offer up when I check back in!

  3. Sitting down eating my breakfast bar. I'd rather have the breakfast pictured on this post. I have one question however, is that cheetos at the six o'clock position of the plate. Yummy.

    Preaching on Deut. and Mark, having one text speak to the other and inviting the congregation to live in the tension.

  4. Good morning RevGals. I am preaching a rather momentous sermon tomorrow... my congregation is voting on whether to keep me another four years. This is fraught with my recent history with them (read the May entries on my Cecilia blog for more info).

    Anyhoo, I am planning to preach on Song of Songs, starting with the ways it affirms human romantic love (eros, for CS Lewis fans), and moving on to the interpretations that have been made of it being about the love between God and humans. I want to end up at the incarnation, the deep affirmation of God's love for us in sharing our bodily natures.

    Number of words written: Zero. But I have yogurt, blackberries and Uncle Sam Cereal, as well as fair trade Sumatran.

    Happy writing one and all!

  5. Wow, living on Eastern time sure makes for an early entrance to the Preacher Party! Thanks for the feast, MP. I can add lots of banana nut bread from the other night's soup dinner.

    Very busy Saturday as I have some teaching prep for this week, I need to finish a bilingual bulletin for Spanish mass, and prepare a simple homily as well. I am looking at the law/Word of Godde as lifegiving (Deuteronomy) and planted in our heart by Godde (James), but something we can't keep without grace and her Spirit within. And that that difficulty can either turn us to her in trust and each other in humility and mutual support--or avoid it by focusing on easier and less important things we can take pride in and "taking other people's inventory" like the Pharisees Jesus criticizes in the Gospel. Can you tell I've been in Twelve Step mode this week?

    So, clear concept, but I have only preached twice in Spanish, and it's been four years. So I have to reflect on writing something out (slow to create and harder to deliver dynamically) or ex tempore (which I like in English but could be really tricky in Spanish as I am not perfectly bilingual).

    Buena suerte, tod@s!

  6. Oh, wow, Mags, I thought that was all decided before with a happy ending. But now I'm remembering that maybe it was just two years? Lots of prayers.

    Song of Songs is so awesome to go with, in general and for that occasion. Kinda jealous as RCL is not an option at my new parish (well, I could push it for a special occasion once I've been there a while, but in general we stick with the Catholic lectionary).

  7. Sophia, I think the vote will go well. But... I have the ability to slip right into a lot of doubt and insecurity. Which I'm sure no other woman minister ever experiences, so it makes me unique. ;-)

    The regional denominational body approved it, and the congregation's council approved it; but the congregation has to approve it. I think they will. But I still have major butterflies.

  8. oh sweet procrastination. I've been in front of my computer for an hour. read blogs, played games, sent emails. words written for sermon. zero.

  9. God Guurrlll, I love the idea of the two texts speaking to each other. I'll have to try it sometime. This Sunday I'm introducing the idea of worship centers. Using the emerging worship ideas w/o the word I'm beginning the service with standard call to worship and invocation then inviting them OUT OF THEIR SEATS! to "worship" (as a verb) at the centers and then return for prayer and conclusion of the service. I'm only concerned about the transitions and getting them to move, but they are open to many things so here's hoping it all works.

  10. Whatever you're preaching on I invite you - particularly those of you in the US - to reflect on the following: Is there difference between Phillip and Nancy Garrido kidnapping Jaycee Lee Dugard as a surrogate because Nancy could not have children and Sarah and Abraham's use of Hagar's body for the same reason?

  11. I've been kicking around various ideas on these texts, and nothing is sticking. Breakfast sounds much more appealing anyway. I am, however, heading off to the church for a conversation about (shhhh, don't tell anyone) evangelism! We're disguising it as a brainstorming session about how to attract and retain new members. (I'm remembering a brief track on a Martina McBride CD where her young daughter belts out, "I may be little but I'm loud!" Hmm, maybe we should think about that as a rallying cry!

    In the meantime my mother made a trip to the ER yesterday and that has been a jolt to my system. She's okay, but it was a scare. If you've read my blog you know I adore my mother! Prayers for her, please, and for me!

    Back later!

  12. Wil, there's got to be a difference. I have to believe there's a difference. Is there a difference?

    I'm preaching tomorrow. Yesterday I was very excited about the prospect of weaving in the SofS text with James, but I am realizing that for where I am going that is more of a stretch than I really should make. Or rather, it would take more time than I am giving myself since I want the congregation to some active participation in this sermon on DOING the word. I've done a lot of theoretical/theological/apologetic type preaching in the last three weeks, so this week is going to put some meat on those bones and ask folks to help me come up with real ideas of how to put the Word of God in action.

    I'm also doing a backpack blessing since our kids go back to school this week. I might just wing it, but I hope to do something a little more organized than that. It will depend on how much time I have to put it together. There are some good resources around the internet. I wanted something with more of a litany rather than just a prayer from me. I also hope to have something to put IN each backpack, but I haven't come up with that yet.

    OK - - first a day with the kids, possibly a visit to one of the Laura Ingalls Wilder sites. It's pretty darn chilly up here, so we need to bundle to do it, and I don't know that we have pants for the boy in the right size!

  13. Seems like a lot of similarity, Wil. Is that how the story is unfolding, that the intent was to get children from her? One more layer of horror added to the story.

  14. Last Sunday, when the preacher scheduled for the day hadn't arrived by the time the first service begins, I realized I was preaching whether I planned to or not. This week I double-checked!

    I'm doing the family service only and am going with being a doer of the word as well as a hearer. But all we do tomorrow will be colored by the fact that a major fire is breathing down the neck of our congregation; a few folks were evacuated yesterday, and it is possible that many, many more could be today. i ask your prayers for safety for firefighters, for a day without winds, and for peace of mind and heart for all whose homes are threatened.

  15. Good morning, all. I had a horribly fitful night, of sleeping in two hours stints broken up by two hours stints of wakefulness. I feel like death warmed over this morning, but am determined to get done what needs to get done.

    Thing 1: I need to find out a good-enough sermon from the last few months. One that someone else might want to hear. I'll leave it at that.

    Thing 2: I need to go to the mall--which is a perfectly dangerous thing to do the Saturday before school starts--to do some returns.

    Thing 3: I need to package and mail that not-so-old sermon off.

    Thing 4: Sermon? Oopsies. Sermon is half done. And not the good half.

  16. cheese, do you have them recorded regularly? I'm sure you have plenty of more-than-good-enough sermons!

  17. Thanks revgals for inspiration and support as I am again at the 11th hour searching for a wrap up to the sermon. I stuck with the gospel from Mark and his paraphrase of the text in Isaiah warning folks not to substitute human traditions for God's commandments. I am urging my folks to read this from the perspective of the Pharisee and perhaps ultimately to recognize that self-righteous religioso in all of us. I feel like I am walking a tightrope. Again.
    God bless us everyone.

  18. Hmmm, Wil, interesting connection. I was sitting in a doctor's office while a church member was having a procedure done when the folks gathered there started paying attention to the news -- both of this young woman and of the ruling in Michael Jackson's death as homicide. I was amazed at the anger from those in the waiting room, anger at the girl for not finding a way to escape and anger at Michael Jackson for drug use. In other words, not much sympathy for victims here. I think the uncertainty in our country right now is taking a major toll on folks.

    It was enough to convince me that fussing at my congregation is not the right approach to take as I try to re-energize them for God's work in our community. We aren't stepping up to engage with one this uncertainty causing our hermititis and self-involvement? I believe it plays a part and am now seeking words, actions, activities to pull people towards life-giving relationships with God and one another.

    Am looking at Joshua from last week (I missed church due to emergency) and James for this week. Will our household choose to serve the Lord and are we willing to engage each other in mutually-supportive relationships?

  19. My prayers are with you Magdalene...may your pastoral integrity and authenticity speak loudly to your people. And may they choose wisely and remain engaged with you for this part of their journey!

  20. Cheese: I have a 1/2 sermon done, too. And I need the other 1/2 by 5:00 p.m.! why am I here? HELP!

    I'm preaching Mark, heavily relying on what I read by Thomas Long in Christian Century a couple of weeks ago, "They honor me with their lips, but their hearts are far from me." Probably some stuff from James will get in there too.

    My brain is really on my house, putting it back together after the floor sanding/refinishing. It's. not. done. yet. still finding things.

  21. SheRev and Songbird, one justification being given is forcible surrogacy. As to the primary question, some on my FB page are making differentiations but I do not believe there was any difference between or to the raped bodies of those girl-children. And in both cases adult women facilitated the rape of girl-children for their benefit. (To help them keep their man?)
    Of course a big difference is that we have been taught to revere Sarah and Abraham for their faith. Which apparently washes away their deeds. It's also said that "that's the way it was back then." But that is clearly the way it is now too.
    RevSis, folk are ignorant, uneducated. We don't talk much about the psychological consequences of abduction and long term sexual abuse in most of our churches or schools.

  22. So mouch going on here, already - wow!

    Welcome everyone. I too wonder about the underlying anger and fear in this country and how it is playing itself out, in part as indicated in that waiting room conversation.

    Where's the love? maybe we all wish for the "come away with me" part?

    Since I'm not preaching tomorrow, I'll be the one holding everyone in prayer.

    In the meantime I have to walk dogs and run over to the church to rehearse the kids who will be the readers tomorrow....

  23. The trouble is not that it was that way then but that some see God's permission being given then.
    Hopefully that part is different now!

  24. I'm dropping in because I miss y'all when I'm not preaching. Which I am not doing tomorrow. That's 3 in a row. Hope that doesn't mean I'm out. Really, I know I'm not out, no worries. But tomorrow is the first one of those three for which I am responsible for nothing. I haven't missed any Sundays I just haven't preached.

    I'm hoping my kids get their chores completed so we can do something fun.

  25. Wil, thanks for making this powerful connection. I completely get the violation of Hagar in the situation and its resemblance to the modern crime--not to mention its connection to the American history of using slaves as raped surrogate mothers. I recommend that those who don't read Delores Williams's *Sisters in the Wilderness*.

    I have never thought of Hagar as a child or young adolescent, though, nor heard her described that way before--is there something in the Hebrew or the midrash that states or implies that which you can share with us?

    Altar Ego, prayers for you and your mom.

    I am unexpectedly ahead with the preaching prep, praise Godde. I got sidetracked into unpacking 12 boxes of books, which needed to be done--for Spanish liturgy resources and in general--but didn't directly further the turn-the-homily-into-Spanish project. But when I finally sat still for my delayed morning prayer time, breathed, and did some more reflection on the Scriptures, the Spanish words started flowing and it's now pretty clear in my mind. Phew! I will probably try to write it out later, at least in outline form, so I don't forget it but now it's time for a working date. Matt will help me haul books and art to my office, get it set up, and then we'll get a Rec Center membership and grab a quick bite on or near campus.

  26. Greetings all! I am attempting to practice what I preach and not sacrifice my family on the altar of the perfect sermon... BUT I will SO be here later attempting to use Song of Solomon's passion as a foundation to jump into finding our own passion in this world, fed by the Word (James).

    Or something...

  27. Wil, I agree that (some) people are ignorant and uneducated and the church does a poor job of speaking about the long-term effects of abduction and abuse. I veered off on a tangent directed to the response I heard rather than the horrible situation itself. I see and lament our choosing to not reveal God in our interactions with one another. We are self-involved and too easily forget or ignore God's presence within us.

    I've been reading BBT, can you tell? lol

    Thanks for pulling us into a deeper awareness of how we interpret our lives and the events that impact them as people of faith. I apologize for distracting from your point with my tangent.

  28. Okay. Found two maybe-good-enough sermons. We have been recording them since January, but in trying to keep it fairly recent, I only read/listened to sermons since May.

    The "best" of the lot was about Job. Don't know what that means.

    Can't even imagine working on tomorrow's sermon yet today, but I'll be back, I promise!

  29. It is past noon here in the center (middle of America) and I'm at the office because I'm meeting someone at 2 to talk...Hubby and I are leaving for Florida vacation on Monday and I'm trying hard to keep my focus here. oh and find the surface of my desk. :-) So when the new stuff stacks up it will have a place to be stacked.
    Mark is sermon focus but think since we studied Deuteronomy in a bible study last Spring. So it will be in some folks minds.
    I mainly want to curl up in the wonderful chair in my office and nap... nap...nap...
    I get to stay in Lawton until the group dinner this evening.
    god abides
    check my facebook page, bobbiemcgarey for some fotos of my now 28 year old daughter.

  30. HAving decided yesterday to show a YouTUbe video tomorrow (Michael Jackson and Man in the Mirror, using a video that shows the words) I decided today that I migth as well put the liturgy on screen too. SO those slides are done.

    ANd the wedding later today is now done (between being away for 5 of the last 6 weeks I only got the vows from the couple at the rehgearsal yesterday).

    NOw jusst that little detail of what should I say in the sermon remains...

    Doer, not just hearers, what is inside not what is outside, law on the heart type of stuff.........

  31. Well, the date was cut short as HockeyBoy called to tell us Ladybug's sore throat was back and worse. But at least we got some books, teaching videos, and door art to my office, and TechnoGuy got to see it.

    So we swung by the park, where TG snagged Ladybug, and they're off to UrgentCare. I met HockeyBoy's new friends, walked home, and now it's time for teaching prep.

  32. I'm back from the rehearsal and pondering lunch....

    I appreciate the thread here regarding the abduction and abuse of that girl/woman and her children. I too have pondered her reality and what the future holds for her healing, however that might be possible. But also the reality where this kind of thing happens at all. Sadly they are not isolated incidents but perhaps more common, then (Sarah/Hagar) and now, than we wish to know...

    Anyway. Prayers continue here. And lumch as well - BLT's anyone?

  33. Sophia, she was young enough to be believed to have been still fertile and/but had not yet had children. If she were older, her fertility would have been suspect.

  34. So, I'm here and preparing to write my first sermon since returning from the ELCA Churchwide Assembly. (flood disaster now in recovery phase, but still high on people's minds too)

    To say I am a little anxious about what might happen, and how to handle it or pre-handle it, is an understatement.

    Perhaps it is time to simply focus on the good news. Law is about relationship more than it is about rules. Spirit of the law gets split from letter of the law. Right. Moving on.

    Right after lunch.

  35. welcome Semfem...I understand that hope for the Spirit of the Law rather than the letter of the law...more prayers.

  36. I just had a pleasant phone interview with a congregation. It went so much better than I expected! Who knows what God has in store.

    BTW, I have not worked on my sermon. I've read, played on spacehook, took a nap, watched the Kennedy Funeral and my sermon remains blank. Hopefully with the interview out of the way, my heart and my mind will be open to the spirit. Or teh Clooney will stop by my house with a sermon. I only want him for his homiletics, not his beauty.

  37. For sermons, it's Antonio Banderas all the way. Teh Clooney does not deliver. ;-)

  38. Homemade veggie soup anyone?
    I am preaching on James, because I have never done it before and it shall be good for me.
    Not sure what to say. I must admit, I have been more attuned to all the wonderful eulogies and great words from Senator Kennedy's funeral.
    Hoping to find words of inspirtaion.

  39. Revsis, I too feel I have to do more gentling along. Right now, we're living in the gap - between knowing what we probably should be doing and getting out there and doing it. Making folk feel guilty won't work in today's climate. It calls for great patience, encouragement and heaps and heaps of love - now that I do have for God's people in this place.
    As for tomorrow - not preaching but talking to the young folks at the last of our summer services. Thought I might play a game of fruit salad to see if I can get everyone up and moving and then laugh a bit about the traditions that make us always sit in the same places in church and not move around, leading into gospel and traditions overshadowing love. Thinking too of maybe playing Black Eyed Peas - Where is the love while everyone finds their usual places!
    Wil, thanks for the challenge of perspective on today's news.

  40. I'm wondering if Halle Berry might be in the sermon delivery business?

  41. ~grin~ Quite possibly God_Guurrlll....

    This is my last Sunday off, but I'm fascinated with this week's discussion.

    Cheese - I'm sure ALL of your past sermons would be just fine. That you chose one from Job shows that you are not afraid to approach or name suffering as part of the human condition. That's a good thing...

    See y'all next week!

  42. My colleague has been sick all week, so although I am not preaching, it occurred to me I might want to have an idea in my back pocket, just in case. Here's the seed of it: The Voice of My Beloved.

  43. In the church office with an odd amount of time between meeting with a family whose mother/grandmother's memorial service on Tuesday and my next agenda item: meet-the-pastor cottage meeting.

    Sermon remains a grab-bag of ideas and quotes in my head.

    Doesn't look like a lot of sleep is in my immediate future which is always worse when it is no one's fault but my very own.

    Actually probably could grab some solid thoughts from the quotes used at Ted Kennedy's service, but always hesitate to pull illustrations from political arena because so many miss the point of what I actually meant.

    Quite the ramble. Sorry.
    Still serving breakfast food or could I have some Thai?

  44. Liz, thanks for the encouragement and affirmation--I hadn't thought of it as living in the gap between but it's an apt description. I've certainly spent my fair share of time in the gap, too. I like the idea of the games you have for worship and hope they will loosen up and laugh!

    Am almost finished with sermon, have a plan for children's time, and need to get busy finishing up the bulletins so I can go make copies. Will check in and possibly post said sermon a little later.

  45. This comment has been removed by the author.

  46. Hi everybody!

    A last minute cancellation means that I am preaching at prison tomorrow. Three times!

    YAY! So I'm going the Preacher Party this week. Going to read what you are all thinking, then going to fix theseand then come back for some serious work.

    Let's hope I have not lost my sermonizing mojo.

  47. Wil - I think Songbird hit on something - - the acceptability of the situation. HOPEFULLY, it's not the same because people won't stand by at let it be accepted anymore.

    We are back from our trek to the Big Woods. I am sufficiently Laur-i-fied. Dinner, then bed for the kids, then delving into James and backpack blessings for me.

  48. the party continues - with requests for Thai food (yum)

    and new folks joining us, hey SO - it's like riding a bike - all comes back to you.

    It's only 4:55pm where I am... too early for dinner, so I'm snacking on chocolate chip cookies and iced Tea - plenty to go round.

  49. 566 words so far. Gotta keep writing gotta keep writing. Oh look a shiney thing.

  50. I'm bummed because I passed on a baseball game (and it's absolutely beautiful outside!) to be a responsible person and finish the sermon and get a good night's sleep to ward off this cold.

    I had more to say, but it just shows how truly whiny I am feeling, so I will hold off.

    Anybody have any chocolate?

  51. I would love some chocolate too. Maybe with some rich creamy centers or just straight up.
    So far, I have very little going.
    Why did I suddenly decide I wanted to preach James?
    Somebody kick me, please!

  52. I've got hershey chocolate chips, just the perfect handful of energy, help yourself!
    Back from replacing the washing machine that died and rushing out to rescue son whose car died and thankful that i'm doing worship centers instead of a sermon.
    The James text did not lend itself to meaningful pictures for the slide show but they are interesting. I will search for a way to post it as I haven't blogged this week, only thought about it.
    Blessings to the faithful 11th hour folks. I'm challenged by Dr. Wil's comments and the discussion to realize we tend to place God's approval where we want it.

  53. Amish peach pie know you want it!

    Sunday was supposed to be Youth Sunday, with our tweens and teens co-leading worship, but apparently that plan imploded (what's the matter with kids today?...a topic for another time...), so I'm on deck to assist. Time to write Prayers of the Church!

  54. Um. Did I just finish the sermon? Whoa. It still needs some tweaking and polishing, because it's pretty disjointed, but still. Whoa.

    Many other things to write tonight, but I think I've earned myself some Chinese takeout (no Thai food around here, sadly).

    I'll be back as the night goes on. Forge on, preachers!

  55. So many prayers going up--.

    LOL at others...

    Working away here, but not too successfully.

    One thing, it is not temping to go outside. It is drizzly and COLD! When is summer going to arrive?

    I think it missed us altogether this year.

    Trinity is ready for a bubble bath...okay...then back to sermon.

  56. OK 1184 words so far, now for the wizbang end. I feel like having icecream.

  57. Friends, even more than earlier today, I ask your prayers for those affected by the fires in So Cal. I have more parishioners being evacuated as each hour goes by, and even at 6:40 PM it is still nearly 100, so the firefighters in their gear on the lines are working under a terrible burden. This particular fire, the Station Fire, is spreading very rapidly, to the east and west, all along residential areas. Thanks.

  58. LutheranChik - - Watching my parenting peers, I think what's happened to kids these days is parents these days. Commitments seem to mean nothing. Everyone seems to expect that even though they said yes to you once, if something better comes along it's perfectly reasonable to break the commitment. I whined (not saying you are) about my own experiences with kids these days, but when I noticed parents supporting them in their flakiness, I no longer blamed the kids. I'm not THAT old, but I don't know when this happened. It wasn't an option for me. If I had given my word, I had given my word. There was no changing my mind when other options came along.

    Stepping down off "old lady attitude" soapbox.

  59. Prayers for you and yours, Betsy!

  60. Betsy, you have my prayers. And you, too, Mags!

  61. More prayers are added to my day of praying...sigh

  62. Whew - what a week! Now, a sermon ... for tomorrow??!!!!

    Good thing I've got chocolate chip mondel brot to share and munch.

    I'd like to weave James and Gospel together...

    I'm struck by something a friend said this week as we shared the loss of a mutual friend (casualty of the ELCA assembly vote last week) who now sees us as 'dead'.
    "rules are helpful and easier because loving intentions interfere and then we get messy."
    It would be much easier to wash hands, pots, cups, and bronze kettles now wouldn't it?

  63. Betsy - praying for all those created ones affected by the fires....

  64. Exactly 100 words and it's 9:05. I think it's time for a break!!! :)

    (Actually, since I'm really really trying to keep this very short. That's not all too inaccurate.)

  65. Finished the sermon. It's not my best but it's good enuf.

    Please feel free to stop by here and read it.

  66. I'm back from a successful food mission and have egg rolls and peanut butter MnMs for all who would like them!

    Betsy, praying for a reprieve for you and your parishioners.

    LMM, you have struck a chord.

    I'm back to work, polishing the sermon and my pastoral letter, and also hoping to piece together a parament dedication somewhere in the mix.

  67. Ooooohhhh...semfem...that was a HIGHLY successful food run!

  68. Praying, Betsy.

    Sermon mostly to bed and then maybe some polishing in the a.m.

    I have watermelon which I will leave on the table. :-)

  69. OK late nighters - I'm breaking out the mocha almond fudge ice cream (low fat) many scoops?

    and, if you are really tired of thinking or procrastinating, come on over for a swim under the moon and stars - guarenteed to get the creative juices flowing....

  70. I'll take one Mompriest. It'll go beautifully next to the scoop of cookies 'n' cream I just dished. There's plenty left to share of that, too!

  71. Taking a moment to remember our RGBPs(StCass, et all) who were impacted by Katrina 4 years ago today.
    Remembering strength for those who continue to rebuild...


  72. Putting my swimsuit on now Mompriest.
    And since this is a virtual party, I shall wear my virtual bikini in my fantastic, cellulite free body!

  73. umm, I'm in a slight panic....after a long and busy day that included only about 20 minutes in my house until 10pm, I have suddenly discovered that I DON'T APPEAR TO HAVE SAVED LAST YEAR'S BLESSING OF THE BACKPACKS.

    What on earth was I thinking??????

    So I am here to plead with those who are still awake for ideas on tying James with backpacks so I can make something up.

    And, of course, tomorrow I have to be at church from 8am-7pm due to confirmation retreat in the afternoon/evening, meaning I really should be in bed by now....


  74. ah-oh big help for Teri...I haven't done a prayer for backpacks - but I am really certain we posted one on this blog last year - will go check...

  75. Teri - here are some backpack blessings....

    Bless all me this day, O God.
    Give me an inquiring mind and discerning heart.
    Give me courage to persevere in all I undertake.
    Give me the gift of joy and wonder in all things.
    Give me laughter and love to share with all.
    Give me protection and safety as I move out of my parents embrace.
    And give me sure and certain knowledge of your unfailing love.

    God, bless this bag and me, the child who will use it. Let me not be scared, be with me as I learn and grow this year. Show me how to serve you and help me to learn all about your love. In Jesus' name. Amen.

    Jesus said, "Let the little children come to me, and do not stop them, for the kingdom of heaven belongs to people like these children." Matthew 19:14

    can't help with James sermon ideas as I'm still struggling myself!
    But there is more chocolate chip mondel brot in the kitchen....

  76. Here's a link to resources Scroll to the bottom and you'll find a link to a pdf for the prayer we adapted this year

  77. Yay for the quick help! I went back through the posts for this Sunday a year ago, but nothing there...before I went further I came back and am grateful to find some help!!!

    And now I'm going to call it an early night...(for me anyway)...last one up, get the lights...

  78. These could be duplicates, but they are some of the resources I found for a friend. I'll bee putting mine together tonight, too. I was hoping for something interactive and more litany-like, but I think at this point I'll take what I can get! Read More

  79. Crud. I see all of those did not post.

  80. Teri - I have requested your friendship at the other place. Will send you the list in clickable format over there, if you're still looking.

  81. Wow. I can't believe I was really starting my sermon with a discussion of the debate about faith, works, and salvation. Thank you, Holy Spirit, for saving me from myself. I made a very needed turn from that to a discussion about spittle. (It's not as horrible as it sounds.)

  82. OMG!!!! I forgot to BLESS the backpacks. Ours went out at the first of this month,actually the 9th. I totlaly forgot about that. Ugh...
    and nobody said anything to me? How come? I would have put soemthing together rather quickly. We did it different this year. Well, last year we had a mess with young(unsupervised) children throwing random things in backpacks. The parents drank coffee and chatted as the children who CANNOT read took their lists and packed...
    Okay,I digress/degress.
    So, anyow, to avoid the problems, we packed on a Friday(and i was away). And so, anyhow, I messed up. Head hung in shame.
    And I now need about 200-300 words in the middle to finish up. I hate it when i have a beginning and ending, but no good meat to speak of. I just got baloney.

  83. Okay, I've just printed up a storm of documents, including a parament dedication, my pastoral letter regarding churchwide assembly, some FAQs and speeches for folks to read if they want, plus a sermon that hopefully will not crash and burn. I think I'm wrapped up for the night.

    Hope all who are blessing backpacks are suitably prepared after that sharing of resources! And may the HS speed her way to those who are still working. I'll leave the chocolate out.

    Blessings on all pondering, preaching, and proclamation this day.

  84. Sherev, ha! Yes, baloney can indeed make a meal to sustain folks for a while.

  85. Finished. I hoped by midnight, but it's done by 1:00 a.m., including the children's time/backpack blessing. Should be a nice calm morning. HA!

  86. I am hitting the hay as well, hoping to get a good night's sleep despite a stuffy nose from allergy crap.
    Still kicking myself for forgetting to bless the backpacks.
    Everyone, lay your hand on a backpack please....
    Lord, bless these backpacks and the precious lives who will use them this year. Bless all teachers and students and keep them safe, happpy, and healthy.

  87. I am hitting the hay as well, hoping to get a good night's sleep despite a stuffy nose from allergy crap.
    Still kicking myself for forgetting to bless the backpacks.
    Everyone, lay your hand on a backpack please....
    Lord, bless these backpacks and the precious lives who will use them this year. Bless all teachers and students and keep them safe, happpy, and healthy.

  88. good morning pals,

    I woke up this morning and realized I had to change the whole introduction to my sermon. So I am printing a new sermon as I type.

    I guess that's what the songwriter meant when s/he wrote "woke this morning with my mind....stayed on Jesus."

    blessings to all of you this morning.

  89. Good morning preachers! Looks like the party carried on long after I called it a night - and with some excellent support going on! Thank you. and may you each have a blessed day!

  90. Thanks friends--you have saved me again! :-) And I pushed "save" on the document this year, and even called it "blessing backpacks" so I could find it again next year....

    and now, on to Sunday!


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