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Saturday, October 17, 2009

11th Hour Preacher Party: Busy Day Edition


Good morning, preachers!

In my corner of the country it's frosty and a busy day lies ahead.

I feel the need for coffee. Lots of it.

Ahh. Delicious.

How is it with you? Where are you headed, in life and on paper?

If you need inspiration, don't forget our lectionary discussion from Tuesday.

Join us in the comments and share what you're preaching, how you're handling the children's message or whatever else might be on your mind. And keep the virtual goodies going; let's start with some cinnamon toast, okay?

121 comments:

  1. Good Morning. I'm on the last day of my holidays but, due to bad planning and organisational skills, I have to produce a sermon for tomorrow. So I'm now holed up in a very pleasant bar with wireless access on a Scottish Island, sipping hot chocolate and marshmallows - it was frosty this morning. Wonderfully, the sermon, so far, is coming together. Doing all of Job in one go - kind of comparing an old book - Why do bad things happen to good people, by Rabbi Kushner and a new one - the Shack, by Young, both looking at the idea of suffering and the love of God and hoping to bring folk to consider "The big Picture". It's a long time since I had such pleasant surroundings in which to work - maybe I should do this more often.
    The good news is that, next week, I'm guest preaching in a congregation that doesn't use the lectionary, so I may be able to recycle this. Hope your work today is as pleasant.

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  2. Good morning! I am at a medieval conference and will fly home directly after my presentation. Coolest part was a meetup with Michelle last night :-).

    I completely drew on RevGal energy and many preacher parties last week when I did my first children's message ever! (Show and tell with my new crozier). Thanks, dear gals and pals! My sister priest at the cathedral came up with the style--having it flow right into the adult homily while the kids continue to sit on the steps. It keeps them peaceful and works well for our little bilingul congregation.

    This week I will show the kids my Hebrew flash cards and ask if they thought Jesus had to learn how to read, play ball, do chores, etc....Emphasizing his humanity and humility and compassion as shown in the Hebrews reading, tempted in every way as we are but never sinning. And God's humility and compassion to become incarnate for us. Then I will contrast that with the rivalry and pridefulness shown in the disciples' arguing over who is the first.

    Hope to check back and see what other folks are doing in between the busy-ness.

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  3. Sounds great, Liz! Hope you can enjoy the day as well.

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  4. Liz, sounds lovely. Sophia, glad our past conversations here have helped.
    I'm about to head to church to facilitate a new women's group, which I'm calling Soul Spa. It's a mini-retreat/spiritual renewal offering and will run for six Saturdays, just for an hour each time. We're trying to offer something to women who are busy with jobs and children, but I have no idea whether the target audience will come. I'll report back later. It's also church cleaning day, and I'll be visiting a gentleman celebrating his 101st birthday.
    Oh, and writing a sermon...

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  5. Just heading for the ferry. Incredibly, sermon is half done - maybe even complete it on the boat.
    this has certainly given me an idea. Perhaps I can't write my sermons in the local internt cafe but I could at least do lectionary leanings from there. Anyway, in spite of this morning's frost, the sun is warm - should be a good day for sailing home. How blest am I?

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  6. Hello sisterfriends,

    This is for the whole ball of wax. Candidating sermon tommorrow. Need your prayers and good energy.

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  7. Good morning, preachers. I have not posted in ages - things have been in such turmoil at church that I've been exhausted. I've wanted to blog about it, because I know you all would have wisdom to offer, but to write about it after living it each day was exhausting to think about.

    Anyway, I attended a great conference last week, and amazingly, this sermon came together the fastest of any sermon I've ever tried to write. So, I've posted it.

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  8. Songbird, what a wonderful opportunity for your women! Hope it is well attended and I know it will go beautifully.

    GodGurrl, prayers for your peace and energy and for the congregation to see how awesome you are!

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  9. Sophia, a medieval conference. How cool is that!!!!!!

    Whether a festival of academics or a dress up convention that sounds like my kind of fun. If there is such a thing as re-incarnation I swear I was a courtier in the medieval times, or a court jester.

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  10. The sunny is shining here at least for a little while after several days of grey gloom and cold rain (and even some snow flurries). My older daughter (WW) and her beloved and month old baby are visiting so I've done only minimal sermon prep, but now is time to write--I need inspiration! I may head out to Starbux with my computer in a bit and see if that proves to be a good working place.

    Preaching on Mark--what I'll say remains to be seen!

    Liz your setting sounds truly lovely!

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  11. God Gurrl--lots of prayers and good energy for you.

    Since our call processes are so different in different denominations, I'm wondering about the "candidating sermon" I've heard some of you mention--do you actually preach it to the entire congregation of the church looking to make a new call? In my denomination, a candidate is not introduced to the new congregation until the call is complete--just to a search committee and vestry.

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  12. Praying for the candidating sermon, the Soul Spa, and everyone preparing and preaching. Just made a fresh pot of tea. May I pour?

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  13. Tea would be lovely, right now. I am fighting off a cold--something that is easier said than done in a college setting.

    In any case, good morning! Could I interest any of you fine people in saying a quick prayer or two this afternoon? My university is playing our biggest rival in football this afternoon. It is a tradition (a stupid tradition) for each school to wear t-shirts with belittling messages about the other school. The shirts are usually sexual in content. This year's shirts have caused QUITE the riot. They read, "Tommies (University of St. Thomas) going down on the field and each other since 1857 (or whatever the founding year is.)" Not only is that sexual, it is misogyny, and homophobia. In any case, it has been decided by the administration and the Benedictine monks that such shirts (I believe 844 were made and in circulation) would be prohibited. I'm worried that some people may be belligerent (before or after a few beers) and cause a scene when a teacher or a monk tells them to turn their shirts inside out.

    In a move of solidarity, I will be wearing a rainbow sash over my cardinal red (our school color.)

    Again, prayers would be wonderful! Have a beautiful day, you all. The sun is out in my part of the neighbour and may God be praised. Best of wishes with your sermons/spas/homilies/conferences/grandchilden/etc.

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  14. good grief there's alot happening out there!! pass the coffee please... normally my day off, but not today.

    sermon is about "the cup" Jesus speaks of... and suffering... oy! thanks Liz for the reminder of The Shack...

    okey dokey coffee & a package of Milano cookies for breakfast... here we go!

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  15. If you're preaching on Mark, you might be interested in reading the sermon Dr. Martin Luther King preached on this text a few months before his death. It's powerful.

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  16. Hi there. I'm off lectionary this week as we're following a Stewardship curriculum/program. I haven't thought too much about the sermon since the program gives me pretty thorough exegesis and application stuff. It doesn't feel wonderfully authentic at this point, but I think I'll be able to make it my own this evening, hopefully without too much time.

    My husband and I are taking the 4 year old girl to the Little House on the Prairie musical this afternoon. It didn't get great reviews (again) in the paper, but basically said if you're a theater person for theater's sake, skip it. If you're a lifelong fan (or lifelong fan in the making) go. You'll love. We're definitely in the second category. My husband is less than thrilled with this activity, but I insisted that he come to make this a special "big girl" day for our oldest. She hasn't had time with both of us on her own since her brother was born almost 2.5 years ago. What I obviously had no way of knowing months ago when I bought the tickets was that the show is at the exact same time as the Husker kick-off today. That explains his multiple attempts to get out of it the last few days!

    So, that was super off-topic!

    Sophia - Great children's times! Glad the conversations here have helped.

    Songbird - I LOVE Soul Spa! Love it!

    Prayers for you God_Guurrlll!

    Glad to see you back around Chilly.

    I'll jump in on the candidating sermon from my PC(USA) tradition (pretty sure that's God_Guurrlll's, too) - - yes, it's the final step of preaching in front of the congregation immediately before they vote to accept or reject the pastor nominating committee's nomination of said minister as pastor. The PNC just brings the final candidate to the congregation, but the congregation does officially do the voting/election. The vote, then, in reality tends to be a vote of confidence for the committee's work. If the vote is negative (rare, but happens) it is usually because of turmoil in the congregation more than about the actual ministerial candidate. The congregation has usually only been introduced to the candidate via written materials and possibly a reception of some sort the day before. In MOST cases, the candidating sermon is the last formality, but no less stressful since it is the first impression we make on the congregation. I have heard that there are some congregations/presbyteries that are moving away from this practice, but I have yet to see that anywhere. Dont' know where it's happening.

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  17. Actually, she's one of mine (UCC), but that's about what our process is, too. I've heard only rare stories about things not going well at a candidating sermon and the meeting after, but we still want it to go well! Praying for you, G_G!!
    Soul Spa was great! I feel renewed, too.

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  18. Sorry! I couldn't remember, but the updates of her process have been so like ours that I thought it was. We do do these things VERY similarly!

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  19. Prayers God G. Take a big breath and PREACH IT!

    I am off lectionary. We are celebrating St. Luke's Day al a Episcopal patronal feast in a ELCA congregation. Hope they don't run me out of town.

    Spent last week at Luther Seminary in St. Paul, Lutherlandia. Found out that I have been dubbed a 'lutepisk'. I can't quite figure out if that is a compliment or not! It still sounds like dead fish to me.

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  20. I was there, too, Muthah+. I knew I should have posted to see if there were folks who wanted to do a meet-up.

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  21. RE Candidating, in the PCUSA it has tended to be a Northern Church tradition--a significant chunk of southern churches don't do it. When I moved up here, actually, I thought it was a very weird thing. In many Southern churches, the candidate preaches for the committee at the same time they preach for Presbytery or for the COM and that counts, rather than the congregation voting with only a sermon to go on--so it really is more about confidence in the committee.
    At least, that is my experience.

    Today I'm working on Mark, contemplating James and John asking Jesus for "whatever we want you to do for us." This is the big skit with Rolling Stones (You can't always get what you want...) week. This afternoon I have to go finish assembling the set (a huge vending machine with buddy Christ (from Dogma) holding out a coke!) so I can make sure everything is just-so. :-) Hopefully I'll have a sermon before then. For a nice change, I think I have some ideas, and a sense of where I'll end up--all I need is a way in and the whole thing might just come flowing onto the screen. Here's hoping, anyway!

    I have hot cocoa to offer, and a snuggie to share if anyone's chilly! For all its terribly commercials, I think it may be the best thing ever. I also have birthday vibes to send out, since mine is on Wednesday and the fun has started flowing already! :-)

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  22. Lutepisk! I love it, +Muthah.

    Just gave (preached!) my talk and met some wonderful new Helfta colleagues--lots of fun. Now I am off to the airport. Hopefully travel will be smooth and the cold everyone is fighting will stay away or low level for travel home and church tomorrow and teaching Monday....I can't wait to switch to part time teaching spring term!

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  23. I've been out of the sermon writing fun for quite a few months now, but I've been asked to preach at my brother's ordination service in a few weeks. So I'm pondering the Great Commission a bit today. I'll be "great with child" at that point, and the thumbs up or down from the OB will be at the last minute (it involves some travel across the state). I'll have to prepare a sermon, even if I might not get to preach it, which would be very sad.

    It's good to get the brain working again, but I am *quite* rusty.

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  24. Good morning...well...afternoon here! I have a need for advice/suggestions from all of you oh-so-much-more experienced preachers...what do you do when you are sick and completely lose your voice and still have to preach and lead worship??? Somehow, I don't think my very Presbyterian set-in-their-ways congregation would respond well to "here's the text for this week...talk amongst yourselves".

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  25. Rev Dr. Mom I second the call to read Dr. King's sermon. I've read it twice already and will let it brew and then write my final draft of mine. I found it at textweek.com

    and chilly fingers...there was a lot between the lines. you will be in my prayer for protection through whatever is happening...

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  26. I'm finishing two school sermons for modular class next week, taking a Greek midterm, writing an essay on the plagues of Egypt, doing laundry, cooking chicken for 40 and packing for school. I leave tomorrow afternoon. The ONLY thing that can be put off 24 hours is the essay (which is due on Monday...)

    The two sermons are scriptures and topics of my choice... so I strangely decided to do one on Matthew 7 (the judge-not passage) and one on "Good Grief". Neither one is particularly easy... though classmates are admittedly "recycling" sermons, I felt I needed to work on the writing process, which for me is so tediously S-L-O-W.

    I'll take your coffee and raise a double shot with skim milk and some apple cake made by Reedy Girl... and check in later...

    Peace out-
    Deb

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  27. Hi everyone. I feel like I've really been MIA in RGBP world lately. I have several unwieldy unbloggables of a church nature going on right now, plus this week I am fighting Teh Crud and dealing with some other health issues, mainly long-term, chronic insomnia--the kind that makes it unsafe to even drive a car.

    So despite very kind offers to do lunch with friends, I am house-bound until I can figure out how to get some (unmedicated) sleep.

    Last week I preached about Presbyterian HIV/AIDS Awareness week, and this week it is Presbyterian Domestic Violence Awareness Sunday. With the kids, I am going to talk about bullies, tell them a story about a time when I was bullied by another child, and hopefully teach them a mantra to help them when they feel overpowered by a bully: "I'm Beautiful, I'm Strong, I'm Beloved!"

    By the end of the sermon, I hope I can get the adults to join in on that mantra, too.

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  28. Hey everyone!

    I have fresh chocolate chip decaf espresso cookies right out of the oven for those of you who need a boost!

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  29. It's been a while since I've posted too. There is a lot going on here today in our community. I've just started a year long interim pastorate at a church in my area. I'm going off lectionary for the next couple of weeks as we start a series called, "Telling our Stories". We're having members of the congregation give testimony during the service about what they see God doing in and through the life of the church. It's a small congregation (about 15). I'm looking forward to hearing from members about how they view the church. Meanwhile, I'll be preaching from John 15 the vine/branch passage and what it means for us to abide with Christ during these days of discernment.
    It humorously goes along with a conflict we've had with our neighbors concerning ivy on the back of the property. Prayers all around!

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  30. Chilly - That greyhound story is awesome! I'm completely stealing it, 'cause I had an opening about how important it is for dogs to figure out who is "top dog" so it fits perfectly. Thanks!

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  31. Hi, all.
    I haven't been around in awhile. It's good to catch up with you. I'm wrestling with Hebrews and loving it, all the imagery from the Hebrew Bible. There's so much there, too much actually. I'm thinking about a "lessons learned" from this text kind of sermon rather than exposition of a particular theme. We'll see how it goes.

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  32. I've written about a third of a sermon, thought I think this part will need editing. I am sorely tempted to take a short nap. I'm already lying down, so...

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  33. Grace Eagle, If your organist is up to it, can you string together 4 or 5 hymns that tell the story you'd like to and do that instead of the sermon? a few words about sung theology and they'll know you're voice is gone, so they might take to it.

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  34. Grace Eagle, I suppose it depends on how long you have been in your parish. As I am fighting a sinus infection that won't let me sing, I sympathize with you. You can try whispering a few words or simplyt tell your congregation that there is no way you can preach and you hope they understand. When I have to be gone, I have a lay person lead morning prayer and read a sermon I have written. You could maybe ask someone you know to have good reading/speaking skills to do that for you.
    And sometimes, we just have to stay home and institute whatever emergency plan you can come up with. Clergy are allowed to get sick and congregations probably don't want what we have.

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  35. The funeral yesterday... wiped me out. I went to bed at 10:30 last night... and woke up at 1 pm today. I can't say that I have a danged thing to put on the table... because coffee and toast at nearly 2 pm seems kinda slack (because it is).

    I'm supplying tomorrow... so I did write a sermon. It's over at my place.

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  36. It's Job for me...the problem is that after an opening story that makes my point, I don't have a lot to say! I don't suppose they'd kick me out of church for preaching an under-5-minute sermon, but I'd rather give them a little more to chew on; I just don't know what.

    God Guurrlll, prayers for you tomorrow, that they would hear the Spirit through you.

    Cody, I hope all goes peacefully with the game today.

    Fresh cinnamon rolls on the counter, and Fuji apples ready for picking on the tree in the backyard; they are on the small side, so take several :-)

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  37. Grace Eagle, in my first call I had a sudden illness that involved extreme vertigo. I had no idea whether I would be able to stand in the pulpit that week. I wrote a sermon in the third person (unusual for me!) and had it ready for someone else to read/preach if I could not.
    What about having someone read the Martin Luther King, Jr. sermon posted at Textweek (with attribution, of course!)?

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  38. I am going with my plan based on the MLK sermon on Mark text.
    Not sure of much else.
    Battling a UTI today and feel yucky, but have started my meds and so should be better soon.
    Prayers for GodGurl and Teri is right about the candidating sermon. Actually we have the neutral pulpit option and we have the preach at the church the day of the vote option or preach before presby option.

    Last year we had two preachers going before presby at same time, we split up the presby group and half heard one guy and half head the other. That was weird, but at the same time, unless somebody just said something way off and way weird in a sermon, i would not vote aganist them.
    Well, I would vote aganist my former SP, but that is because he is a j@ck@$$!

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  39. 1-4 Grace = tell it like it is why doncha. Thanks for making me laugh out loud!

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  40. The big difference in the UCC is that the Association doesn't have a say until after the call has been issued. We have local autonomy. If the Association (usually as the COM) objects to a candidate, it can refuse to install the pastor, but it can't stop the church from hiring him/her.

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  41. Grace Eagle, Frederick Buechner's book has wonderful insights on various biblical characters, and I'm pretty sure Job is one of them. Maybe invite a lay leader to read that, if you are including Job in the readings tomorrow? Not long, but it does provide a little bit of food for thought. This comes to mind because 15 years ago when I was expecting to go into labor in early Advent, his one on Mary was the back up should that happen on a Saturday evening/Sunday morning...and I did!

    As much to the point, however, is that if you are sick, you shouldn't be there; view it as setting for your congregation a good example in self-care and concern for the the health of others. They will manage fine for one Sunday.

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  42. this is basically where I think the sermon is going (thanks will willimon for putting it so well....I may borrow this phrase from you!) : "Jesus is not a technique for getting what we want out of God; Jesus is God's way of getting what God wants out of us. "

    The question still is--where to BEGIN???

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  43. Hi all, how is everybody mid afternoon? I have kept trying to get here, but have been waylaid by the kids. We had a late lunch and I hope to be able to concentrate on my sermon, which I haven't had much luck doing yet. Hope everybody is safe, dry and warm.
    I am doing the Mark passage, but have no clear way this is going.

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  44. My sermon, about what constitutes Christian greatness, was finished on Thursday...am now waiting to see if the call committee of the church where I interviewed a few weeks ago will show up this week. They indicated that they'd be around to hear me preach, "sometime in October." Yeah...nothing like a bit of anxiety to keep you on your toes!

    OH, and I've got fresh-baked apple crisp (still warm from the oven) for anyone who's interested!

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  45. Good work everyone - some great ideas out there! I'm not preaching this week, as we're sharing worship with another church and hosting a "contemporary" worship. I saw the gymnasium of the church set up today while I was there for a JNAC workshop (Joint Needs Assessment Committees). I think the service will be very cool, but very very different from our week by week experience.

    Blessings to all...

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  46. Beth, I'll be by for some of that apple crisp; want me to leave some apples for the next one? ;-)

    I realized I didn't fill in which of Buechner's books I was referring to: Peculiar Treasures.

    Back from the dog park and UPS Store; now I really need to put on my thinking cap.

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  47. I believe it's teatime here on the East Coast, preachers. Who would like some Fair Trade green tea and a little Fair Trade chocolate to go with it?

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  48. thanks but i'll skip the green tea... just discovered a dead snake in my laundry room... ick!!!

    sermon is 2/3 there... but i seem to have lost direction/focus some blasted thing like that.

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  49. I believe I have reached what is technically referred to as the "Whooptie-Friggin-Do" stage of sermonating.

    In other words, has anybody seen my point? I seem to have lost it.

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  50. dead snake was scooped into a plastic pitcher and i threw him outside in the street... just in case he wasn't really dead but just moving really slow b/c it is so cold.... in the street at least he'll either warm up on the sunny asphalt or get run over.

    but he was NOT invited into the house!

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  51. cheese, I have a point but not an ending...wanna trade? ;-)

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  52. yay! I have a draft up! It draws a little on the skit that happens right before the scripture reading (see Tuesday's lectionary leanings for a description of the JeezOMatic vending machine that dispenses calls to service rather than whatever we asked it for!). I almost like the sermon, though i'm not convinced it's the hard-hitting sermon the stewardship people are looking for OR the comforting-good-news sermon half the church probably wants during this still-in-the-interim time, but there you have it.

    I'd love some feedback!!! Keep up the good work, friends..I'm off to assemble the set for the skit and then i'll check back in later with baked potato bar for anyone who needs dinner!

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  53. Thanks to all of you who answered my call for advice...I so appreciate this group! I agree 100% about the self-care and not spreading cooties advice...it is advice I would give...but...when I called one of the elders, I was told "oh well, there just won't be any church tomorrow." So, I am going to go with some version of leading worship and bringing the Word while saving my strength and not spreading cooties. SB, love your suggestion re: MLK sermon, but, I serve a rather conservative,southern small town church, and I am still in hot water for recently preaching on the health care reform debate, so if I did that it would probably end my discernment process re: whether or not it is time to leave this church(I've been there 4 yrs)because the decision will be made for me...
    sorry for a long comment...
    I am going to continue to work for a while and then go to bed early and hope for the best in the am. I have hot tea and ginger snaps to share...but chocolate and apple crisp sounds better.
    Prayers for you all...esp. GG with your candidate sermon.

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  54. Stopped working around noon to play with the baby and give mom & dad a bit of a break. Now I'm sitting strbx trying to get my momentum back Or remember my point.

    I love the MLK sermon and will relate to it some way. Beyond that? Eh

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  55. Teri, great sermon! When I was done, my mental gears were chugging, which is how I hope I leave folks when I preach. I really like that Willimon quote.

    GraceEagle, what a discouraging response from the elder :-( Healing vibes to you~~~

    I am doing far more of everything else than I should and not enough of the one thing that must be done. Nonetheless, I now feel the need to go to the hardware store for the toilet parts that have been broken for a few weeks, and TJ's to pick up some of their newly advertised pumpkin pancake mix (stop by later for them at dinnertime), and...

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  56. Ohhh...bedtime here and I am utterly wiped out after one of THOSE weeks, with 4 funerals & 2 dear souls very close to the end...so I am going to lift a wonderful story that my amazing curate is going to tell during his sermon for the 2 big services, and share it at the 8.00am.
    We're keeping St Luke and focus on healing tomorrow night...would have loved time to think and create but now just getting thro feels more than enough!

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  57. Okay, if Teri can do it, I can, too! I'm throwing it out into the ether!

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  58. Grace Eagle, that sounds rather manipulative but I'd be suckered too. Hope you feel better tomorrow.

    After a break to do some post-holiday laundry, I have posted tomorrow's offering here
    Feedback would be helpful but, since it's 11:30 here, I'm going to sleep and then edit in the morning. Thanks for the party, Songbird. I love sharing this journey with revgals and I'm really looking forward to setting up office in the coffee shop next week - seems a conducive atmosphere to creativity.

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  59. Okay, we've had dinner and watched this week's Glee, and now I am getting back to it. We've got more pizza, anybody hungry?

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  60. I have spent the day fighting a migraine & finally feel like I have won the battle. Older kid is at marching competition to which I originally intended to go; that didn't quite work.

    Now, for the sermon, that is off lectionary and on missions. I think I'll be around for awhile since I have one opening story & that's it so far.

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  61. Don't worry, Vicar, I expect to be right here with you!

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  62. Toilet repair: check. Dinner supplies purchased (not yet dinner time here): check. Vacuuming done: check. Snacks ready for sleepover: check. Dog worn out from dog park: check. What am I forgetting?...oh, yeah... So, SB and Vicar, I'll be here too!

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  63. uugh sermon coming slowly. Gnna attempt some of Martin Luther Kings sermon. Nothing really on paper. Realized I don't have balloons for a baptism tomorrow, I realize balloons at the close of the service as a response to God's action that occurs when we are baptised. Anyone want anything while I am out?

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  64. Grace Eagle, If you're from the south, you could probably have a "hymn sing." Let people call out their favorite hymns and let them sing the whole time. I've had that as my backup plan for illness for several churches where there was no one to call for a last minute sermon

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  65. Ever have one of those nights when the sermon turns in an unexpected direction?

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  66. yes, and you already have the songs, the title, and teh liturgy picked out for something else.
    That is a pain, but I let sermon go where it will

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  67. Betsy - It's probably long past time to help, but I was having that problem mentally, too, the opening story was going to give it all away. I think what I'll do this time is just tell half that story as the lead in, and finish it at the end of the sermon. I'll break the story off at the "trouble" part that mimics the trouble in the text, and go in to the text part there. When it's time to wrap it all up, I'll wrap it up with the end of the story.

    At least that's my plan right now, at 7:33 p.m., with no words written yet.

    Homemade carrot cake anyone? With handpicked carrots from a parishioners garden????

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  68. Often, Songbird. But tonight I feel like I keep losing my direction. Sigh.

    Back home--time at Strbx wasn't all that productive. May be a late night.

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  69. Often, Songbird. But tonight I feel like I keep losing my direction. Sigh.

    Back home--time at Strbx wasn't all that productive. May be a late night.

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  70. Well, I'm not finished yet either, and this is late for me. Probably has something to do with those two episodes of FlashForward I watched this afternoon...

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  71. Joining in with the better late than never crew... I've been doing family stuff all day (weeding, off to a musical, dinner). Now it's time to get all this stuff that's been rolling around in my head into some semblance of order.

    I've got part of a Kit Kat bar I'll share!

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  72. FlashForward! Shoot! I knew there was a show I started to watch that never made it to the DVR. Not tonight, but I may need to watch those online sometime soon to see if I can catch back up.

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  73. I like that show too!
    I did not want to get into one that I HAD to watch every week again, but here I am

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  74. I spent most of yesterday (my "day off") travelling to, attending, and returning from one of those Presbytery Executive meetings one never wants to attend--suffice to day that some of our colleagues can do things that defy even being called stupid and then the Church has to take actions.

    Then this morning I got up early to attend a Technology in Worship workshop, returning at supper time.

    THe sermon? What sermon? II only had a chance to skim the comments thus far but I caught the Willimon about JEsus being God's way to get something out of us not vice versa. That'l preach in a stewardship sermon called "Me First!"

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  75. Oh my goodness Gord. That's a very full weekend. My condolences re: Presbytery Exec. - I'm guessing that was a doozy.

    Workshop on JNAC was a snooze. Nothing I didn't already have in my JNAC HANDBOOK - arrrrgh.

    On the other hand, I'm not preaching tomorrow, and I'm very thankful for that.

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  76. Just discovered something - I'm not a big hot tea drinker, but I do like to have green tea when I'm getting a cold...which I think I am getting. Well, if you heat the tea bag in ginger ale, it's much more tolerable...just a thought!

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  77. Okay, I have finished. I think this is harder when you don't have the rhythm of doing it every week.
    I'll write a pastoral prayer in the morning. This has been a very busy week, and I'm looking forward to a nap after church tomorrow!

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  78. Wow, so much going on today with all of you fellow RGBPs! Just swinging it to say hi -- we had a slow-going morning in the house (although I got tons of laundry done), then ran to Target for a few things and to buy a birthday card, then to a friend's house for a playdate, then to the birthday party for which we bought the card, then I took the kids to my parents' house while I did a hospital call...THAT is why I did my sermon on Wednesday! So glad...my first very sick parishioner since I've begun this call, so I've been to see her almost every day.

    Oh, and tomorrow afternoon is my installation. So, there's that! With everything else going on, it honestly feels like a bit of an afterthought, which I suppose is unfortunate, but at the same time, it's better than if I were freaking out about it. It will be what it will be!

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  79. Urgh, hit some buttons that sent my comment before I was totally ready. Anyway, just wanted to say Blessings to all of you as you continue to work this evening! Stay warm, dry, and as healthy as possible!!!!

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  80. OK - it's been like an hour and half since I showed up here, and I haven't even opened Word yet. I'm still here almost an hour earlier than I usually am, though. That counts for something, right?

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  81. If you're going the route of serving with the Gospel tomorrow, check out the FaithLens story on the ELCA site.

    http://blogs.elca.org/faithlens/2009/10/12/october-14-21-2009-grocery-bagger-with-down%E2%80%99s-syndrome-inspires-hundreds/

    And I'm offering halloween orange filled oreos with cold milk. After the week we've had, it's the best!

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  82. Chilly Fingers - is it then called Bubble Tea? I am so anxious to try this Bubble Tea and a little nervous to make it myself. So am looking for easier methods than the whole boiling the bubbles, etc...
    Grace Eagle - I had laryngitis my 4th Sunday at my new call (a month ago). A seminarian friend came and led worship, read my sermon and I just did 'hand motions' for the consecration of the meal. My other option was to ask a lay leader to do the same, but at that point, didn't know folks well enough to know whom to ask!
    Sarah - congrats on your installation tomorrow!
    I'm taking my sermon the serving way - using the story from the link I just posted above. We will begin a low-key stewardship drive in November and want to subtly lead up to it.
    Now, what to wear tomorrow! We have the Youth Pancake Breakfast instead of Christian Ed Hour, then worship, then the Cropwalk. Guess I should go wash the pumpkin patch mud off my jeans for the Cropwalk!

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  83. Evening folks. I have had a busy day with the kids. We made caramel apples at one point. That was interesting. Maybe that was being a servant.

    Everybody else done? I am getting there. It is starting to come together. Hope the rest of you are doing okay. Prayers for those of you all in difficult places in your lives.

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  84. I need to mention that once again my sermon is kicking me in the butt. Oh, for the days when they were so clearly for other people, and I didn't need to hear them... ;-)

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  85. Dear ones, I am going to bed. I hope you are not up too late. I offer you the freedom of the kitchen! I'll be back in the morning with a fresh pot of coffee. Good night!

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  86. I'm kinda sorta close to done, although totally lacking in a conclusion, either words or ideas. But I have also realized that at this particular point--discussing that we're asking the wrong question of the Book of Job if we want it to be theodicy--I could detour for a moment to James & John also asking the wrong question. But that runs the danger of becoming another sermon tacked onto the first. Hmmm.

    She Rev, thanks for the suggestion; I went back to take a look but I can't see any way to split it.

    Sarah, blessings on you as you are installed tomorrow!

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  87. Songbird, I think that is one of my struggles with writing this sermon as well.

    and I have written many a sermon that took on a different direction than what I thought it would take.

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  88. Having a baby in the house is just too distracting :) That's my excuse anyway.

    Back to work

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  89. I've finished the sermon & prayers, etc. I would go to bed but there's a kid to be picked up. I imagine it will be 1 1/2 hrs (at the earliest) before that happens. I'm shutting things down and resting while drinking hot spice tea in the hopes I'll feel better.

    Blessings on your Sunday

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  90. Well, I finally opened up Word. But then I rememebered the cream cheese frosting needed to be cleaned up (read: there were beaters to lick) and I started another game of Mexican Train Dominoes. Found this last week on FB on Saturday and it has been my downfall all week. Soon it's time to take the girl to the bathroom and redrug her if the fever is still high. No sense starting until that distraction has passed, right????

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  91. Hello, Gals & Pals -

    Looks like it has been a busy day! Hubby is preaching in the morning (and will get his manuscript written sometime between now and 8 AM).

    As I pray for his process tonight, I will also pray for yours.

    May you be blessed with clarity of mind and peace in your heart.

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  92. Oh, we should hit 100 by midnight!

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  93. I am 2/3 done and sad for my Gamecocks, but they really held on pretty good.

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  94. Okay, I think I am done, or it has done me.

    Anybody need anything. A wing and a prayer?

    Sorry about your gamecocks, but they were playing at AL homecoming.
    I thought they might pull it off. Just like I think we will pull off these sermons.

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  95. Here I am, just in time to start writing. Got back from synod council at 9 pm and have been procrastinating and doing laundry since then.

    I do have an outline scribbled on a piece of paper in the car, so I'm not starting from scratch...I think I'm using a power drill for this week's "tough stuff" and talking about different kinds of power...and how the power we want God to have is not the kind God actually uses.

    Now to actually write it. Onward, fellow late night writers!

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  96. So I go play Mario Kart for a few hours and I come back to almost 100 comments! whoa!

    I'm re-reading and contemplating a few tweaks, but think the sermon I have will preach well enough for tomorrow's busy day (skit, stewardship video, CROP walk, confirmation class...) so no major overhauls here, unless someone sees something I definitely shouldn't say!

    I hope you all have lovely nights of sleep ahead of you...I in my birthday Snuggie will be thinking of you. :-)

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  97. Hopefully we pull it off better than the Gamecocks, though.

    So I went for my daughter's potty-run which turned into a quick clean-up bath and medicine redosing. You can add vomiting to her symptom list (or the closest thing to vomiting as you can get when you haven't eaten anything since noon) as well as a couple notches up on the fever scale.

    Ugh. I have a horrible time sleeping when one of them is sick. I guess, then it's good that I have something else I need to be doing now anyway!

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  98. Welcome semfem! It's been a while since we've met like this again!

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  99. Well, I'm about 3/4s done and realizing how late it's gotten. Yipes. Prayers for those still up and for those already all ready for tomorrow.

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  100. Hey! Semfem? You still here? I got some words written so I thought it was time for a break.

    Hi!!!

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  101. I'm still here and putting off writing the first words by playing game after game of mahjong. Classy, huh? (Not to mention NOT SMART because I have a 12-hour day tomorrow.)

    I swear, someday I'll get myself into such a corner that I'll preach from notes instead of a manuscript, and it will either be awesome or it will suck mightily. I lean towards the latter.

    I'm glad you're being more productive than me so far!

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  102. (Looking sheepishly away from computer screen) - That little break has turned into another game of Mexican Train Dominoes. No more productivity past my opening 237 words.

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  103. Ugh. Just discovered that the direction I am going with my sermon is almost exactly what the pre-printed devotional insert that we bought with the stewardship materials does. Granted I gleaned my over-arching point from their worship resources materials, but I hadn't read the insert until right now. They even have a similar, but much better illustration.

    Poo. Too late to go back now, so I just hope that I can drive mine home without it sounding too much like theirs. Crap.

    I think it's time to go sleep for a few hours.

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  104. She Rev, I'm finally off and running with 213 words of my own...but just want to lie back in the recliner and sleep a bit. I did set an alarm just in case I decided to do that...

    Please, I just need to write it all in one burst of productivity and creativity. Can it happen? I'm so glad I'm not all alone...

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  105. She Rev: CRAP. I hate it when that happens. Oh well, the people that learn by hearing (and those who feel a connection to you) will get a lot more out of your sermon than the pre-printed insert.

    Sleep well. Maybe by the time you wake up I will be finished. :)

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  106. Oh, and maybe you could use the insert as a guide to your sermon, inviting them to read along? Sort of like you are working with the insert, not against it.

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  107. Hmmmm...I like it. Working with it instead of against it. I think I can do that.

    Off to sleep, then back to write. At 348 words I really don't have enough done to justify doing this, but oh well. I'll feel better when I wake up, I think. Eyes are so tired now.

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  108. Oh, I forgot to mention.
    Prayers will be appreciated tomorrow afternoon. I have a "phone interview" for a potential call in a congregation.
    Thanks and goodnight

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  109. 1-4 Grace, you got the prayers.

    All this transition stuff is reminding me that I need to start working on my paperwork...

    ...but not now. 790 words with a brief nap in there too...now if I could just finish it up and get a few more hours of sleep. Here we go... (She Rev, it's almost time to wake up and start writing again.)

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  110. I'm up. I'm up.

    A little earlier than I had planned. The sick one started making that coughing noise that is also the sound of the start of vomiting so I flew up the stairs at first "Mommy."

    No vomit. She did insist I take her temperature and it's still a fever, but it's too early for more medicine. She'll have to hang in there until the clock moves in her favor.

    For me, back to the sermon about which I care little.

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  111. Glad She Rev is back!...you'll be done soon, I'm sure.

    I think I just finished. It's a bit long (1587 words) but I really wanted to use some of the great stuff that was mentioned here (MLK's sermon and the Faith Lens story that dovetail so nicely together). And hey, it's done, and right now the best sermon is a finished sermon.

    Blessings on all pondering, preaching, and proclamation today. I give thanks for my sisters and brothers here.

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  112. Ahhh - - relative lengths always crack me up 1587 would have my congregation throwing a party at my brevity, but I always say I'd be willing to stop there if I could. Maybe today will be that day. Just 1000 more to go to get there.

    I've got my in and my out, since I used my own earlier advice for starting a story at one end and finishing it at the other. Now I just need the innerds (innards? Some other spelling I can't imagine?). They're pretty easy to grab at this time, though, so I just need to go to it.

    Blessings on your minimal rest!

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  113. It's 5:30 in the blessed AM and I'm still piecing this doozy together -- Job. It's week one of stewardship season so I'm talking about Why we give -- not because we OWE God anything or we are afraid God will strike us down if we don't, but because when we hear God's questioning of Job we hear our world reframed in such a way that it's not about us, it's about who God is. Our gifts are our silent "Wows."

    Now, if only I could piece it all together. :)

    Peace to others up at the blessed dawn!

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  114. She Rev, we have Communion every week and we are also having a stewardship temple talk this morning...so I am going to be in hot water if I don't watch it length-wise on the sermon! At least I put the interesting story at the end. Hopefully that should help, right?

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  115. That definitely helps. I also find it helps if I can put a sometimes wordy person into a service that I think might "go long." That way if things drag a little folks blame it on them instead of me. (Hee hee!)

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  116. You gals asleep? I hope the all-nighter crowd either got a little snooze or can nap later. She Rev, so sorry about your little one; fever is miserable!
    Coffee is on for those who need it. Let us pray that all our printers work and all our sermons preach!

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  117. I'm counting on the nap later, Songbird. I've been with the little one about 20 minutes out of ever hour since I woke up. At least I'm the only one who will need to worry about getting ready to go when it's time to go around here. Although the mildest form of this seems to have started with the littlest one, I don't think he should probaby go to the nursery with his sister as bad as she is in case he's carrying it, too or still. My husband has slept through all this because he's fighting the weaker but still very annoying and misery inducing version - or at least the non-fever version.

    Thankfully there is no education this morning, so I think I'll be able to get away with blowing in right before worship and blowing out right after. I'll need to do a drug run before I come home since we've only got one dose of Tylenol left and no ibuprofen.

    Just need to bring this sermon home, and then I'll be good to go for the day. Someone else can lead the mom's Bible study this evening!

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  118. Gosh, I would think so, She Rev! Hope you stay healthy!!!

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