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Friday, October 30, 2009

11th Hour Preacher Party - Choices, Choices!

Choices, choices!

Lots of Scriptural choices, and by evening at my house at least, there will be lots of candy choices. I'm sure there will be some virtual Halloween candy to share with the late night crowd. Put your orders in early, and I'll raid the kids' stashes before I head to the blank screen after bed time.

Anyway, back to the Scripture! What're you thinking about - Pentecost 22 (Proper 26, Ordinary 31 - why are there so many title choices for each day?), All Saints' Day, going back to Reformation Day, or something completely different? Plenty of choices and I'm looking forward to plenty of Spirit-filled and diverse discussions and offerings.

So, what do you need from the preacher trick-or-treat stash? A little inspiration? A little support? Children's sermon? The perfect illustration? Look around for what you need, grab it, and throw it in your bag. All treats today, no tricks!


  1. Halloween is getting much bigger in Scotland than it used to be. 3 years ago, we spent halloween in Indianapolis and had wonderful fun, choosing and carving pumpkins and doing the halloween maze and tractor ride thing. IT's not quite the same fun here but we smuggled back what we could fit in our bags - hand grabbing candy bowl, lanterns. We also acquired a halloween butler this year - life sized guy who looks like lurch from the Adams' family - which brings me to the children's sermon. He is going to church tomorrow and we'll transform him into a saint - dressing him in robes and halo. Sharing the message that the good news is that no one is beyond redemption! Then we'll celebrate the saints with emphasis on those all around us who show us the way everyday. That's the plan anyway. Meantime, bread baking, ham and lentil soup bubbling away for lunchtime and loads of candy for those trick or treaters who come round after dark. Happy to break out and share earlier though.

  2. I am just dashing out to a coffee morning, then back to prepare for a Baptism for the morning tomorrow and a World Church Service for the evening.

    I am not sure how big Halloween is here as this will be my first year in this part of the UK, it was pretty subdued in Norfolk...

    Guess I'd better buy some candy just in case...

  3. love it Liz. We are going to use the left over sweet wrappings from tonight and create a stain glass window at the family service tomorrow. I reckon if we put them between some laminationg sheets and laminate them we should make something beautiful. Saints are beautiful people, they let the light of Jesus shine through them.
    I have mushroom soup bubbling on the stove ready for lunch here

  4. alright! two amazing children's times already!
    I'm not preaching tomorrow, but am working on my children's time....but if I can find a Lurch, then Liz, I will go with your idea!

    haven't started lunch yet, but have some yummy fair trade coffee and leftover pizza for breakfast to share!

  5. don't forget to "fall back" tonight, those of you in the US.

    I'll be back later....

  6. Hey, y'all! I'm on this week, though it will be a Communion Meditation and I'm trying to keep it a bit shorter than usual. Quite literally the only time I got a complaint about a service being too long was in my first call on All Saints. It continues to haunt me.


    Anyway, I've had a full week of visitors (yay!), a child with flu being nursed at his dad's house (boo!) and a late-in-the week return to many responsibilities at church. Fortunately, the Confirmation class gave me a good start with the saints they chose to name on paper clouds that are now hanging in the sanctuary. I'm planning to talk about my first saint (the one my Episcopal elementary school was named for, Agnes) and move to the ones they names, including a young woman from the town who died a few years ago while doing mission work in Guatemala, and from there to the people who have exemplified love for neighbor in our own lives, both the living and the dead. Text is the Great Commandment. I believe the requirement is to be lyrical and to urge them to show the same example to those who look to them. And then we'll remember by name those we have lost in the last year.

    I hope that will be enough and not too much!

    Meanwhile, it's Week 3 of Soul Spa, so I need to get ready and get out the door to church. See y'all later!

  7. revkjaria, hope you find a lurch - should be fun. Diane, we fell back last week in the UK - yay for an extra hour! Songbird, that soulspa sounds a great idea - hope it continues to minister to all involved.
    I just love free Saturdays at home - especially in the kitchen. Lunchtime here, so bread is baked, tomorrow's pot roast is in the slow cooker and pasta sauce for a supper during the week is just simmering away. Hubble, bubble... We're going to head out for a while now to snag a halo for lurch and take a walk in the autumn leaves. An unexpected glorious autumn day - must enjoy it outdoors for a while. Hope this cauldron keeps boiling. Be back after dark:)

  8. My sermon is way too long for a communion sunday. Need to pare it down a little.

    However I just have to go out and play on this halloween day.

  9. Hi all,

    I am working on what a saint is for my Lutherans. Coming from a catholic Episcopal tradtion, saints are venerated with a greater pomp and circumstance that our bunch of Lutherans. But we have already celebrated St. Luke and with St. Lucia's day coming on Sunday, our bunch is having a bit more saintly observation that usual this year.

    I was reminded in the Wisdom reading the place of "the righteous" in Hebrew. A colleague reported having his car tuned in Israel once and when the car no longer ran rough, the mechanic said "Tzedek". It is an aspect of that word for righteous and justice that carries a bit more than just the sense of law and justice. It means also a sense of "shalom", things are in balance or "right".

    Meanwhile, I am making some decaf and muffins before I go to the chicken BBQ.

  10. Hi all,

    I am working on what a saint is for my Lutherans. Coming from a catholic Episcopal tradtion, saints are venerated with a greater pomp and circumstance that our bunch of Lutherans. But we have already celebrated St. Luke and with St. Lucia's day coming on Sunday, our bunch is having a bit more saintly observation that usual this year.

    I was reminded in the Wisdom reading the place of "the righteous" in Hebrew. A colleague reported having his car tuned in Israel once and when the car no longer ran rough, the mechanic said "Tzedek". It is an aspect of that word for righteous and justice that carries a bit more than just the sense of law and justice. It means also a sense of "shalom", things are in balance or "right".

    Meanwhile, I am making some decaf and muffins before I go to the chicken BBQ.

  11. Hi everybody. I'm peeking in quickly before I give a solid hour-ish to the sermon, then head out for some fun.

    A good friend of mine has free tickets to the local dinner(lunch?)theater production of "The Sound of Music", and his partner is out of town, so he asked me to be his "date" today. We are going to go sit with the blue-haired ladies, eat our chicken salad sandwich, sing the score under our breath, and hopefully have a rollicking good time.

    The first hilarious part of this is that they ask the audience to arrive three hours before curtain. Three hours. This means they open up the bar at 10:00 am. We may be the only sober people in the building by the opening overture!

    See you all later! I'll be the one humming the lonely goatherd song...

  12. Glad to see you all are up and going. I'm up, but definitely not going yet. Kids only wanted Cheerios for breakfast (boo), but I guess that's good since we have pumpkins to carve and a car "Trunk or Treat" costume to finish.

    A little stressed here about the overlap of the end of the UF-UGA football game and the start of t-or-ting with our family. I know it sounds minor to most....

    I'm also looking for a shortish meditation for tomorrow. We've got Communion and will continue the "Cloud of Witnesses" banner I made for us last year. I'll try to find my link to the picture from last year, but basically there are ribbons with bells and folks can write the names of the saints who have passed in their lives. I stack the deck with the names of those in the church who have died in the last year just in case.

    I'm off lectionary, though, to finish up the subtle stewardship series we've been doing. The text is a small part of Luke's Last Supper with the theme Sent to Serve. Should be relatively simple to do a little eucharistic theology and tie also to the example of the saints who have served. Should be, but keeping things short is always hard for me!

    OK. Off to the boring breakfast!

  13. Good morning all. I'm not up tomorrow (P is preaching, so I'm taking care of kids all day). I just have to write a prayer and buy some gluten-free bread.

    All my sickies are better now (both boys had the flu this week and I had it the previous week); fingers crossed that the hubs somehow avoids it.

    Happy Halloween and good luck with the writing!

  14. Oh wow. Good material here! I delegated the children's story to my colleague who is much better at that part of the service than I am - now there are all these good ideas!! I'm sure he will do a fine job though.

    We're sharing worship with our Maybe Amalgamation church tomorrow for our annual All Saints worship. It includes naming and lighting a candle for all whose lives we have celebrated during funerals at our church over the past year. It will be interesting to have another church join us with their own people to celebrate as part of the communion of saints surrounding us all.

    And we have communion.

    And another leak in the roof. Please stop raining. Now.

    My sermon is about Lazarus. There is one short section of the sermon in which I mention that I believe the current fascination with all things vampire (Twilight, True Blood etc) has to do with a genuine yearning in our culture to find an easy way to eternal life. One bite on the neck, and you're good to go. Sure, you can't go out during the day and all those other myths - but you are suddenly immortal.

    As people of faith, we know that eternal life doesn't come that easily - it comes through faith, perseverance, and through the trust and belief shown to us by our predecessors in faith - the saints have shown us the way. It isn't always the easiest way, but it's the way.

    That's where I'm headed, not sure where I'll end up.

    And Cheese - your day sounds like a blast! Enjoy! Edelweis and all that...

  15. Working on an evening sermon on Judges 2 -- do we ever get sick of the OT stories about God's people being such screw-ups? (we're in an OT series, so I think my peeps will know what I'm talking about). It is yet another opportunity to look to the faithfulness of God. . .

    I am more concerned about the AM, where we'll be fitting in Reformation Sunday, All Saints and a profession of faith/membership (of a man raised Catholic, joining our Reformed congregation). . .this is causing me angst as it is many themes that seem, almost, at cross-purposes. Ah, but I'll deal with liturgy and the AM later. Right now, back to Judges.

  16. I started the day with a three hour nap, indicative of how much I didn't want to get up when the dogs did.

    Tomorrow is our first potluck breakfast between the two services and in place of Sunday school. I've got cinnamon rolls to make for that. Our day here is overcast, alas, but I've got my candy ready for tonight (I always buy a kind I don't like all that much).

    As for the sermon, we are doing All Saints, Isaiah and Revelation and John. I think I'm going with tears as the theme. I liked the CC sermon but don't know if I can make it my own. Otherwise, I will talk about saints in general. We will finish off the day with choral evensong. The divine bass and I will share chanting duties.

    I'll let you all know when the rolls are done.

  17. Sue, I love the vampire take. I'm looking for something to put a little 'life' into my meditation. Vampires may just do it, if I can pull it off. I may have to lighten the mood a bit first, but that gives me more direction. thanks!

    I'm holding the first All Saints service at this congregation. I've always wanted to do one on a sunday. I believe they are needed. So I will mention the 3 members who have died in the past year and let everyone name out loud, those they wish to remember. We will have flowers in a basket w/usher that they can take for each one remembered and bring up to create an bouquet of saints in a large vase. I'm keeping things simple b/c we had a big week last week.

    I'm still on crutches but getting a bit better. Blessings to all, there's very fresh bagels and coffee but you're going to have to come get them yourself as I'm stuck on the couch with the lap top.

  18. Even though we have been on the RCL for a few years now, I have chosen to use the reading from our Prayer Book Lectionary for All Saints Day, which means I have Matthew 5:1-12 to preach on....a handbook for disciples (and saints!) I'm actually working with a sermon I wrote a few years ago because it will work as a lead in for our All Saints parish dinner tomorrow night featuring an All Saints Hall of Fame. Now I need to finish up the sermon and go shopping for art supplies for the Hall of Fame.

    I'm ready for the trick-or-treaters--whether any will show up remains to be seen, as I am in a new neighborhood.

  19. hey there,
    we are on all souls tomorow, too, and so far what we have planned is looking good. the organist is doing a tribute to Paul Manz, which I think will be moving (at least, to the 3 people who know Paul Manz is - ha!) For kids - we are lighting candles, as a sort of preview for the adults who will do that part doing the communion (come up for your bread and little cup of juice - no common cup in the age of swine flu - ad light a candle on the way out....).

    For sermon, I'm telling a story Tex Sample tells in Living the Questions (which people are loving, btw -- is it working out for you, Diane?) about getting a snack from a woman at a civil rights march and how that was communion for him. Mostly focussing on Revelation and the heavenly city.

    Earthchick - I was thinking of you all week - so glad the kids are better. What did you guys end up doing last Sunday?

    Cheese - omg! that sounds so very awesome. Have a great day!

    Sue - love the vampire idea. remembering it for another year...

    songbird - hmm, soul spa....that sounds delicious. would love to hear more about.

    liz - sign me UP for some of that soup

    sherev - thanx for the great intro!!

    I might make some more of those pumpkin waffles (trader joes, we thank you) this morning, and I'm sure there'lll be plenty to spare. let me know if you like yours with or without walnuts. (ooo walnut waffles, alot of alliteration)

  20. Wow we are all busy today!

    I'm (still) off lectionary this week--the Christianity 101 topic this week is justice and mercy. I'm using readings about Solomon and David being givers of justice, Isaiah 30 (Therefore the LORD waits to be gracious to you; therefore he will rise up to show mercy to you. For the LORD is a God of justice; blessed are all those who wait for him) and the Beatitudes. Also, of course, Micah 6:8.

    What is the difference between justice and mercy? Can one prevent the other? Does it depend on where you are standing? How do we find the balance point? How do we "do" justice and mercy in our own lives?

    And so on. I found some great resources, but it's time to stop thinking and start writing.

    I have a hospital visit to make today and a party I want to attend tonight, so I had better get moving... Already got a good night's sleep and had a difficult (but necessary) conversation this morning, so I have a running start!

    Waffles are available for any who would like them--with genuine Canadian maple syrup!

  21. Thanks Nancy - glad to help you out!

  22. walnut pumpkin waffles? yes please!

    definitely All Saints. lutherans just don't skip all saints... it would be unsaintly of us. we will light candles for those who have passed and toll the bell, and we light candles for the new saints among us, those baptized in the last year. all the candles are arranged around the baptismal font... should look perty!

    sermon? long. needs wrapped up.

    no candy here... mochajava tries to stick his big doggie head in kiddos bags, so uhm... we'll be keepin' the porch light "off"...

  23. If y'all need a halloween-themed procrastination tool today then try out Cat Bowling! (Warning, may be addictive)

    I am goin with Ruth and family and All Saints and REformation and visioning wrapped up in one neat (popcorn?) ball. Balancing what we inherit from our ancestors with what we want to pass on to our descendants

  24. Hi all, I wasn't scheduled to preach this Sunday, and I still don't know if I will or not. The Senior Pastor has the flu or something, and has been out all week. I suspect he won't be there Sunday, but even up to the last minute will try to, so I will have to be ready.

    We are celebrating All Saints Sunday. I have looked at the scriptures but don't feel motivated. I thought I might find one of my previous ones for All Saints to be preprared.
    Anyone else got an idea?

    Oh and we are also doing the Requiem. tada.

  25. cup, I love the idea of recognizing the new saints among us. I'll remember that for next year....

  26. Does it strike anyone else as odd that at the end of my telephone interview last night when the committee said, they would be in touch and I asked what their time lines might be they appeared to not have anticipated that question?

    bout 20 seconds of stuttering followed the question while they obviously tried to come up with an answer...

    However, the interview went well. At least I think it is a good sign when at least twice the comment after I responded to a question was "I like that answer".

  27. And here's the banner I made last year for All Saints. This was the night before so I just laid those ribbons for an example. On Sunday folks took ribbons wrote names of "saints" in their lives and pinned them up. I expected about as many pins as are in the picture, but instead it was practically filled up. We did it once or twice again during the year on occasions that seemed appropriate. We'll do it again tomorrow during communion. As people come up for communion they can "detour" at the banner and add names of those who are "feasting with us in heaven."

  28. SheRev, there is NOTHING about the world's largest outdoor cocktail party that is minor :) That's why it's on neutral ground. If the game is interesting will even the folks at home get up to answer the door?

  29. I'm doing a Greek translation, then working on a sermon for my class which must be given "live" somewhere. I'm looking at Isaiah 25 because of the hope in it... taking a pre-Christmas theme.

    Once the sermon is written... I'll figure out the logistics for giving it. Probably my husband, the cats and a captive audience of friends. :)


  30. It's All Saints for me. And the local team hosts "my" team for kick-off at noon. So I'll preach a short sermon, they'll tease me about getting out in time for my team, and thank me so they can see their team. I love being in ministry in this church!

    For the first time in a long time, I have found geocaches on 4 consecutive days. At some point before dark & trick or treaters, I think I should find one today. Going late might not be such a good idea tonight, although, dark/late usually doesn't stop me.

    Giving thanks for another hour!

  31. got a sermon on John 11 which needs fixin'. (esp. the end.)

    just finished a Bible class with third graders.

    just checking in.

  32. Deb, please come give your sermon for me tomorrow.... how about it? :-)

  33. Tis the week of fabulous children's sermon ideas! Wow!

    Earlier this week, I learned about a story published called 14 Cows for America (add a dot com to that and you can get to the site). A young man in Kenya wanted to find a way to respond to the 9/11 tragedy and decided to give one of his cows in honor of those who had died. Others in his village did the same and 14 cows were given. The site gives some great background on the significance of the cows (click on cows) and shares that these 14 cows have multiplied to 35...a gift of life.

    Looking at Ruth and planning a short meditation as we will name, light candles, and share communion. Want to finish writing early so I can enjoy that extra hour tonight!

  34. So since two people have mentioned the big game, can I just say "Go Gators!"

    Truthfully, I don't really care that much about football, but UF is my alma mater and they are in first place...

  35. ah Gord, I returned from a coffee morning and a walk full of good intentions, but then got hooked on cat bowling....

    rught now back to worl :-)

  36. Hey thanks, Juniper. It was a crazy morning! We ended up with my husband staying home with the sick kid while I took over his worship responsibilities. At the beginning of the service I announced what was happening and let people know I would be leaving immediately after worship (instead of shaking hands as I would usually do - I recruited volunteers to do that). Then Paul and I switched places. I stayed home with the boy so Paul could go teach his class and a lay person led my class (which didn't require a lot of prep). It was nutty, but it worked. Sick kid got better by mid-week, just in time for the other kid to get sick. Wheeee!

  37. I'm cleaning today. Not because I want to, but because if I don't it will soon be totally disgusting! Gradchild, Trinity, is coming this afternoon to trick or treat (she is a ladybug) and somewhere in the mix I'm working a sermon for the prison chapel. Daughter, Kris, wants to do a tag-team sermon...which would be fun and the prison guys are a very receptive congregation...but when to actually do it? Also must make the next batch of Amish bread...ah, the tyranny of the stuff...and so I'll be back at some later point to read all your posts and get to work myself.

  38. You will not believe what I just did.

    Filled my tank with gas and then hopped in my car without taking the nozzle out of the tank. Broke the hose in two. Now I'm on hold with the insurance company to put in a claim.

    I wish I could my head back into the game, but it just ain't happening. Feel free to read my blog if you want to learn more about my world.

  39. God Guurrlll,hugs. How awful--and if you are anything like me, the embarrassment would be the worst. Hope your insurance takes care of it!

  40. GodGurrl, I've done that. About 2 days after a bad fire in my house. Stress makes it an easy mistake to make.

    Hang in there my sister!!

  41. It's really time to start writing, but I seem to be more interested in whether I made a bad choice buying organic lollipops for Halloween giving. I'm considering a run to the grocery store.

  42. Cheese,
    I have visions of drunk people singing, "The hills are alive..."
    and lonely goatherd and Sixteen going on Seventeen!!!!!!!

  43. Oh, I am off to Trunk or Treat(or Trick or trunk as one lady says).
    Anyhow, sermon will be done later.
    Anyone need some candy????

  44. aw geez, earthchick. what a day! again - so glad everyone is better now....

    ok, just set up literally a gazillion candles in the sanctuary with 2 very cool women to help. now, off to see how the service all hangs together (all saints remembrance litany! communion! commissioning of stewardship visitors! usual prayers! childrens time! and, oh yeah, a sermon!) and then I'll actually work on the actual sermon.

    Songbird - as the mom of a trick or treater, I thank you and praise you for those organic candies. But I understandt the impulse I have mixed chocolate bars and raisin boxes. I had JUST chocolate, but the tiny raisin boxes were on sale the other day and they were just so CUTE.....

    so intrigued by this trunk or treat thing.... what is that?

  45. Trick or treaters so far: 1 (an alien who was not wearing his mask, so was hard to identify)

    Amount of candy left: LOTS

    Words written for sermon: 0

    Words written for reflection for healing service Sunday night: 0

    Important phone calls made: 0

    Candles set up at church (floating ones in the baptismal font): 0

    Hmm, not good. At least I got a good night's sleep and have taco soup in the fridge for later.

  46. Check that, a cat, the Hulk, Spider-Woman, Batman, and a witch just came to the door. Trick or treating is from 2-6 I have a hunch that between the rain gusts, there will be waves of trick or treaters for the next several hours!

  47. Oh G-G how awful!

    Juniper - I LOVE those little tiny boxes of raisins!

  48. Songbird, it's called Trick OR treating. The kids will decide if it's a trick or treat, hand them out!

  49. Wow. I just found the final two sentences of my sermon (thanks to Working Preacher):

    "All Saints is a day when we remember that death is REAL. But is also a day when we remember that death is NOT FINAL." (caps mine)

    So, now I'm thinking about combining vampires, mummies, funerals, tears, and this truth about death that we affirm this day.

    Trick or treaters: We're up to 14.

    GG: ugh, how embarassing! it can't be an uncommon occurrence though...hope the insurance comes through.

  50. Lots of good stuff going on today!


    I am feeling blechy this afternoon, and trying to talk myself out of any illness. Got a wee nap with the baby while hubs tried to induce a nap in our son by driving him around, but he popped back awake as soon as he was moved inside the house.

    The ironic thing is that we were supposed to go trick-or-treating at a nearby nursing home today with the women's group from church, but they asked us not to come because of swine flu. I was scoffing at overly cautious approach and bummed about not going, but in the few short hours since getting the call, I feel like someone has pushed thorns down my throat, so it's probably a good thing we were banned! I may have been the one bringing the germs!

    Luckily got my sermon mostly done on Thursday and finished it up this morning. I've had some funerals recently, so I'm hoping my sermon isn't too much like a funeral sermon, but we'll see. I pulled in Isaiah, Revelation, and the John text with Lazarus. Main thread has to do with the power of Jesus calling out Lazarus' name to bring him out of the tomb, and how important our names are to who we are, linking that to our tradition of reading the names of those who've died since last All Saints' and the candlelighting. Also have the beautiful visual aid of a quilt my grandmother made on which she wrote, in her impeccable cursive writing, the names of every student she ever taught in public school. Another link to the power of names. Hopefully it will all come across as I'm imagining it!

  51. The Rev. Dr. Wil GafneyOctober 31, 2009 at 4:31 PM

    The Wisdom of Solomon initially paints a picture of the saints through they eyes of others, the kind of folk who make assumptions without knowing the nitty-gritty details of a person’s real life...
    Mary and Martha and Lazarus may be stained glass, marble sculpture and feast day worthy now, but that wasn’t necessarily the case in our gospel lesson...
    Martha – because of and not in spite of her prayer – is one of God’s saints, and so are you, and so perhaps is the last person who gave you a piece – maybe the last – piece of their mind and, so perhaps is the person to whom you last gave a piece of your mind. We are the saints of God...
    All of those dead and rotting things that hide our true nature as the saints of God are stripped from us as were the grave clothes of Lazarus in the gospel. Jesus’ command, “Release him and let him go!” is directed to the community.
    I'll post the full text later.

  52. Trick or treaters so far: 39

    Amount of candy left: not much...uh oh

    Words written for sermon: 25 (and a good outline mostly complete!)

    Words written for reflection for healing service Sunday night: 0 (ugh)

    Important phone calls made: 0 (hard to talk when interrupted by trick or treaters)

    Candles set up at church (floating ones in the baptismal font): 0

  53. Sounds like some thing are going well and others....not so well. (((G_G)))
    I guess it's a typical preacher party.

    I'm back from our "Trick or Trunk" (Yes we use the "wrong" name.) We do ours with a non-profit organization for youth and young adults with disabilities. The church members sponsor the cars before their annual Halloween dance at our church. Last year was our first year and we continued the glorious tradition this year. Loved it.

    Watching the game now while cutting ribbons and tying bells for the additions to our banner for this year. Well, I'll get to that crafty stuff as soon as I get off the computer.

    Snacking on the roasted pumpkin seeds from our carving session this morning. Have some to share and at some point I'll finally make the pumpkin bread with the fresh pumpkin puree, too. Maybe that will be for those of us who are staying up to turn the clocks back right at 2:00 a.m.

  54. That many t-or-ters already??? And set hours for the event? Interesting.

  55. just back for a moment before preparing to preach "the early edition".

    and say: (((G_G)))
    some days are like that. sometimes weeks...

  56. Good news: I took a nap so serious that I had a dream I can remember.
    Bad news: I don't wake up well from naps, and I have written approximately 35 words of my sermon, and now it's time for children to come to my door and ask for candy.

  57. Yup She-Rev, I still think it's a bit odd to have set hours for the trick or treating, but it definitely has its pluses. I was surprised it started so early (usually starts later when it falls on a school day)...but now it's gotten windy and rainy, so it looks like most kids have finished up. 43 in total (I decided to count this year).

    Is it bad that I already broke out the Christmas tea? It seemed just right for this blustery day of sermonizing.

  58. @RevDrMom--how is it that we've been friends for almost 8 years now???? GO DAWGS!!!!!!

  59. Well mine is written and I ended up using my early week blogreflection as illustration and adding, elaborating. There were so many other places to take it. (I like Dr. Will's thoughts) but alas, a firm direction was better than wandering at this point.
    Semfem, you can have our candy. we seldom get many/any treaters and I'm not getting enough exercise to eat all that candy!

    I don't understand how I can allocate all of Thursday for sermon and still be here. It must be the fun of the Preacher Party that keeps me coming back. Best to all.

  60. 10pm here. Our trick or treaters are long gone. fortunately, so is most of the candy. disappointed that few of them had a poem or song to perform - they just demanded the treats! Bits of service have come together. Had lots of distraction with cat bowling - thanks Gord. Probably going to call it a night soon. Our handbell ringers are contributing to worship in another part of town tomorrow so I'd like to go to that early service and support them which means that I'll have to set up for my own service very early.
    Hope we can all honour our saints and/or souls tomorrow. blessings

  61. GG, I do hope that the insurance co work things out for you.

    I am sad, not one trick or treater came to our door ( apparently the last minister frowned on them)... now I have a big bag full of uneaten candy, ( note to self- do not indulge)...

    Songbird I hope you soon feel fully awake and able to write...

    I have a first draft of what I may or may not preach up on my blog

  62. Bread is baked. Trick or treaters are gone (we had lots) and I have no idea what to preach about. The tag team sermon is not going to happen this time. So it is up to the HS....sigh...

  63. Just for the record. Sue sent me the link for cat bowling.

    Kids are just getting ready to go out t-or-t with mom. I'll post pictures of them in costume tonight.

  64. Praise God the HS is pretty good when we give up Singing Owl!!!

    I have gone to bed with nothing too many times lately, and She has always come through!!!

    Prayers for peace!

  65. Thanks to a long story by Barbara K Lundblad, my sermon is done. Now for the prayers.

    No trick-or-treaters yet.

  66. Here are some pictures of the girls in costume

    NOw I should really write something down about ancestors and descendants

  67. Gord - for a minute there I thought you were going to fall on the Cat Bowling sword for me, but alas, no luck.

    Yes, it was I who sent Gord the link.

    *hangs head in shame*

  68. WOOHOO! I just discovered my team's game is on, and Pac-10 football is NEVER on in this part of the country! HURRAY!

    This is definitely going to put a crimp in sermon writing. I do have 392 words to start with...

    [writing frantically on commercials]

  69. Gord - simply adorable pics there!

    i left my porch light off... off.... off and STILL people banged, and i do mean banged on my porch door... mochajava barked wildly and that scared 'em off... hee hee hee

  70. Sweet rolls are done, iced and in the car for tomorrow's breakfast. There were no trick or treaters so I ate one butterfingers but don't want another one. The fire is dying, the World Series is delayed and my mind is utterly blank. I am realizing that I have never preached All Saints, always avoiding it one way or another. So I'm praying that the HS will plant a germ overnight. It sounds like more than one of us is in the same boat this week. So prayers for all of us!
    Gord and Sue, I loved the cat bowling.

  71. Has anyone seen Antonio Banderas? He is sooo late with my sermon.

  72. Songbird, He was dressed as Puss in Boots when he came by here

  73. Then he's WAY far away. Darn it!

  74. SemFem-
    Are the floatign candles for the deceased people of the church?
    I should have come up with somethign, but it has been a crazy week.
    Presby meeting tomorrow and i am starting the Thanksiving tree with my little saints tomorrow.
    I think I will mention the people who died since All Saints Day last year.
    But I really like the candle idea

  75. 1-4--yes, it's actually an idea I picked up here one year. Put water in the font and a floating candle for each person of the church who has passed away in the last year. We're doing that, then listing names of all other loved ones who have passed away, then a moment of silence for all others deceased in previous years.

    Unfortunately I forgot to go to St. Larger and fill the font and make sure the floating candles are there...and I forgot to make the important phone calls, SHOOT. Looks like I may be using my extra hour tomorrow morning getting things ready. team's up 17-10! YAY!

  76. I jsut counted to be sure and have 4 Saints to remeber since last time. I almsot forgot one as she died in Nov of last year. Whew, so glad I can search the obits online. I have only had one service where I used a bulletin and all the info is at church.
    What does everyone else do for All Saitns Day?

  77. Okay, i like the floatign candles idea. If I can jsut find 4 of them!!!!

  78. Good night everybody,

    I think I saw Antonio in puss in boots running through my state on the way to Songbird's. Keep a light on for him.


  79. 1-4,
    I have some floating candles I got for a service in KLent last year that was cancelled due to a water main break. unfortunately I can't throw them that far........

  80. I just got done writing our Prayers of the Church -- a little more elaborate than usual because we have a baptism and our annual remembrance of beloved dead. I had terrible writer's block tonight so I wound up "borrowing" a venerable prayer format and just tweaking it for our congregation.

    No trick-or-treaters at our house tonight, as predicted -- which means you're welcome to our bowl of mini chocolate bars and Hershey kisses. I'll even slice you a sliver of chocolate cheese -- yes, you read that right -- that I bought in Pinconning today. (Not sure if this is a Michigan thing or a general dairy-state thing, but I was introduced to chocolate cheese during my years at's like a cream cheese fudge; yummy.)

  81. LutheranChik, I grew up with chocolate cheese! Although I wasn't in an especially dairy-producing state. It was just always in the deli at the grocery store (why no more?). Delicious!

    I have 813 words...and I haven't made my point yet...and the game is still going on...yikes!

  82. No worries, Gord. I found exactly 4 floaters. Uh, they are a light orange color, but only a few will know. I don't think they are scented. But they might be pumpkin. I can't smell
    Since I needed 4 and I found 4, i am taking it as a sign.
    Plus, nobody will see them much! I jsut am not up to another Wal-Mart run! I am sure one of the ladies made pumpkin pie, so this will be in honor of them.

  83. I have a sermon I'm just gonna preach. For the record, I like what Wil said. Yeah.

    thought we weren't going to have trick or treaters but they just got started a little later. Not a lot of them, just a few.

    We have a few Twix left over. Anyone?

  84. Lutheran Chick,
    We put velvetta cheese in our fuge down here.

  85. Uh, that should be FUDGE! No fuges here tonight. Anyone for a Toccata and Fuge in D minor?

  86. I'm late getting in here. I'm so excited that this is the first All Saints Day service I'll be leading. As a Baptist who followed the liturgical calendar, the last church I served did a special service on Wednesday night. I'm so excited now to do it on a Sunday!
    I'm preaching the Lazarus text and excited about the last words of the text.... the words to the community about "unbinding". I'm challenging the congregation to think about the saints in their lives who helped bring restoration, hope, healing to them and our community... also challenging how we do are that kind of saint to others!

  87. SOme of what I will say (albeit in different words) can be found here

    I will begin with the Ruth story and why it is where it is in Christian Scripture (as part of the story of David, link to family) and how it also functions to expand the family.

  88. Back from trick or treating and almost done relaxing for a little. The temptation has been to fall asleep, but I haven't. I will when I get something down on paper. I've really got to try to keep this one short because of communion and everything else. I think I can. I think I can.

    We had VERY few kids come to our house, but I expected it. We're on a dead end street with only 3 houses. Most folks don't both to come down our way. I bought WAY smarter this year. Not a lot, but my favorites so the leftovers are YUMMY, but not too decadent.

    Will get started here shortly. Really.

  89. 659 words, I need to close off at about 1000-1100 because of communion. This means it is time to turn it toward homplate and wrap this baby up.

  90. Oh, hey there. wrote a long and involved update HOURS ago and then forgot to hit "publish." Rats. Well, you prolly didnt need all that anyway. But I got an outline of what to say - going from notes on the sermon tomorrow- and all the rest of the stuff written out really well.

    Back from trick or treating - son's favorite take was a little can of soda called "Lemon Drop Dead" Hilarious if you are 7.

    Now we are all tired and snuggly. Just turned back the clocks - dont you all forget now.

    I want to register for a quarter marathon, but the registrations start at midnite, and I dont know if I'll make it long. But I know I wont have time in the morning, and they said the registrations fill up in the first 8 hours, so....not sure how that's going to pan out - I'll let you know.

    Oh, yeah, I wanted to send a hug to GG - you SO didnt need THAT today! Come to Oregon - we are nice (and inclusive!!), and it's illegal to pump your own gas here -- someone else always does it for you :) Awesome!

  91. oops, and forgot to say:
    1-4 Grace - velveeta in FUDGE!!?? really??

  92. oh, and.

    this is the 93rd comment.

    only 7 to go to 100. We! Can! Do! It!

  93. 1033 words. Time to stop.
    Now, get a prayer written and remember to get my BCW out for communion.
    Anybody got a really got invitation for communion that mentions the saints?

  94. (I, too, am having issues with the Velveeta in fudge. Big issues.)

  95. Whew! What an awesome game...Ducks over USC, 47-20.

    Now, we'll see if I can settle down enough to write the ending to this sermon. I'm at 1048 words and need to wrap it up here...

    ...but it was such an AWESOME game! Okay. Breathe. And write.

  96. 2 minute warning preachers...only a few more to reach 1-0-0!!!!

  97. Wait, is it midnight now or do we say an hour from now????
    One more comment!

  98. I'm still at 11:11 pre-clock setting back time, so I think we can claim the 100 with this one!

  99. With 1332 words, I think I am DONE!

    (Well, there is still a lot to do--preparing the candles etc., plus preparing for the healing service, but at least the morning sermon is done.)

    I think I'm going to take a shower, do the final edits and print this baby out. And try to get a good night's sleep so I can be functional for most of tomorrow.

    I'll check back before I hit the sack...

  100. Great job semfem. I think I'm going to take advantage of the time change and my relative comfort with what I've got and hit the hay, too. I can go to bed now and set the alarm for the new 4:00 a.m. and get 5 hours of sleep. That ROCKS for a preaching Saturday night.

    I'm about 1/3 to 1/2 of the way done with what I've got and plenty more to go, so I'm not worried. A little more crafty stuff to do in the morning, too, to get the materials for the All Saints banner, but that's not hard. Will likely adapt the All Saints Great Thanksgiving from for our non-responsive prayer use. I love his resources for communion prayer!!!! Easy stuff for the morning for sure!

    Off to bed!

  101. Good job on the sleep She-Rev! And way to go everyone else who has finished.

    As for me, the sermon is printed, the clocks are back, and I'm off to sleep. May Antonio visit those who still need some inspiration...and if not him, then the Holy Spirit.

    Blessings on all pondering, preaching, and proclamation today!

  102. What a great party. I'm up and at it again. Through November, we do a "home but not forgotten" slot where, each week we learn a bit about one of our "shut in" members, then sing their fav hymn as a way of remembering the saints around us, so just writing that - trying not to make it sound like an obit! Then I'll move Lurch over to the church. Later, I'll post some pics of Lurch, before and after, on the blog. As Wil says, We're all saints - let's remember that!

  103. I'm back to finish up. That sleep felt AWESOME!

    Liz - - I love the "home but not forgotten" piece. I might have to share that idea with our deacons to see if they want to run with it.

  104. I'm about where I need to be, ready to bring it home to the celebration of the Lord's Supper with just the right word count. Kids are EVEN still asleep, although I know even typing that will jinx it for me.

  105. Thanks be to God, after a good night's sleep and a little coffee, I now have a sermon that says what I wanted it to say all along. Of course, it's not short anymore. But I'm told they don't mind at Y1P, especially on Communion Sunday. Let's hope that's true.

  106. Morning folks,

    Prayers all around for preachers, prayers and leaders of all sorts.

    Here some coffee and coffee cake to start you all off right!

  107. Had to do an alternative for All Saints Day. The font is too small to hold four candles! Opps.
    Plus, you can't see them because it is recessed in the stand part.
    So tired Presby meeting to day and somebody is riding with me so slipping out early!

  108. 1-4 Grace--uh oh! We have struggled with the candles being seen for a while now...this year we put a punch bowl in the font and filled the punch bowl with water. The punch bowl was higher than the font, so the water level was above the edge of the font and the candles could be seen.

    I managed to completely forget the good, unscented, plain floating candles at home, so we made do with floating flower and snowflake candles.

    Now...I would like to nap...but I really need to write that reflection for the healing service tonight!

  109. For those who were wondering a few weeks back, I hve posted some pictures of our Tree of Thanks here.

    Unfortunately the picture of leaves being hung on the tree didn't quite work--the girls simply hung the leaves on the turned to look at the camera

  110. I got a small glass plate and put it on the font. Then they showed up.
    It was a pretty powerful and cool moment to light the candles during the prelude. I took my time and silently said each person's name as I lit their candle.
    It was so cool.
    Oh and by chance the grandson and his wife of recently deceased lady was there. So happy they were around


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