Visit our new site at

Saturday, January 09, 2010

11th Hour Preacher Party: Wade in the Water Edition

Dear Gals and Pals, for many of us this will be the 1st Sunday after the Epiphany, otherwise known as "the Baptism of our Lord." So we'll be dealing with water this weekend, with Jesus wading into the water to be baptized, with the promise of Isaiah 43, "when you pass through the waters I will be with you," with baptizing new disciples in Acts. Please see the texts and discussion here.

So, will you be observing The Baptism of our Lord this weekend? What will you be doing? Where will your preaching take you? Will you be wading ankle-deep, knee-deep, waist-deep, or "in-over-my-head, thank you very much"?

I'm down with a headache, but hope to be better and hosting all day. To start, we have some fair trade coffee this morning, some blueberry muffins and pancakes. Oh, and orange juice. What would you like? Pull up a chair. There's room for all.


  1. praying your headache passes

  2. First week back after 2 Sundays off. Printing out the service at the moment. Tomorrow preaching on the voice of God, especially in baptism and communion. As it is school holidays, probably no children, but a story book and some worksheets on hand just in case.
    Good Night,
    happy preparations all.

  3. welcome, accidental seminarian, and Patty. I'll put the coffee on and see if anyone would like some.

    thanks for the good wishes. I think I'm feeling a little better. coffee might help me, too.

  4. Not preaching this week, though I have received word that a long-awaited internship at a nearby UCC may finally be starting soon...

    In the meantime, have some King Cake! (Okay, so it's actually the pound cake I made in desperation to use up an overabundance of eggs, but it will end up in a trifle for a Twelfth Night party tonight, so I think it counts.) We have not been visited by any kings bearing gifts around here, but our chickens have been gifting us with a big basketful of eggs every day! Omelettes, anyone?

  5. welcome, MaineCelt! the cake sounds delicious, as does the omelettes!

    and congrats on the long-awaited internship!

    have some coffee!

  6. Glad to be involved in this 11th hour preacher party! Making some fair trade coffee in the toffee caramel flavor- my favorite! Veering off the lectionary a little to preach about praying in small group (praying in groups of 2 or 3). I will introduce that topic this week and ask them to participate in doing so during the Lenten season this year It is snowing like crazy in my part of Tennessee and people panick easily. I am wondering who will be there tomorrow! I will be so happy with whoever God brings. Myself, my husband, and the Holy Spirit will be there for sure! But not the senior minister, she's on vacation (but just using her vacation day to send her son off for another deployment and move houses in this snow). Blessings to all you writers and preachers today!

  7. drink the oj while we can.
    Frigid temps in FLA mean less oj in the future and it will be more.
    I am going for a swim with John and Jesus in the Jordan.
    I have had raquet ball effect on where to go with it though.
    Pretty wild, but I think I am going to focus on idea that Jesus did not NEED the baptism, yet we did(do) and his example for us.
    word verf= "eforst."
    Forest online?
    OH, oatmeal here. pass the coffee, please

  8. I'm checking in before I take a kid to a Saturday event. I have felt miserable most of the week, and, while better, still mostly feel sick. I'm thinking of plan B options for tomorrow. Plan A is Luke & Isaiah with the Wesley covenant prayer that was shared here on New Year's. We'll see ...

  9. Welcome, Sunny, 1-4 Grace, and Vicar! Yes, it's cold everywhere. I'll drink the oj while I can.

    brrrr, makes me think twice about the river Jordan.

    Prayers for your recovery, vicar. let us know how it's going.

  10. I'm not preaching tomorrow. I've turned over second Sundays to our new deacon.
    Instead, I'm working the Salvation Army kitchen with some others, making and serving lunch. As I loaded the sheet cakes in the car, number one dog jumped in for the ride. Luckily, they had covers on and I have extra icing.
    Then it's home to finish the first read through of the diocesan ordination exams. Three questions left.
    Tonight is the postponed Christmas concert with the Civic Chorale so we are hoping the snow stays away this time!
    Y'all have a good time today and may the Holy Spirit blow afresh on all those struggling to get the sermons together.

  11. Clarification: I'm "grading" not reading those exams!
    I like this word verf for 11th hour preachers: grabsom!
    Off to the SA

  12. I wrote quite a bit on Thursday since I am off with the some of the leadership for a leadership event.

    Using being named in Isaiah and that name is Beloved from the Luke passage. Sharing with them a fairly personal experince.

    Eggs (the fake eggs with chives and cheese...but really quite good) and whole wheat toast here...I have plenty to share.

    Here's to health for all!

  13. Good morning everybody!

    I will be preaching on Jesus and John wading in the water. I will end my sermon with a reaffirmation of baptism complete with aspersion. Baptism is such an important part of our faith journey yet many of us don't understand what it is really about. More than just a "get out of hell free card", baptism is an outward sign of an inward grace which God gives to all of God's creation freely.

    Hope that'll preach.

  14. Morning all,
    Breakfast sounds wonderful. We are having a baptism tomorrow. YEAH! I don't do too many baptisms in my little church but we have had 3 this year so this is a red letter day.

    Since I have been here, I have written letters to the infants for the parents to keep with their baptismal certificates so that the children will have something to read when they start confirmation.

    Diane, prayers that the headache will soon pass. Shalom.

  15. I think I finished my sermon--don't hate me, but I have to preach first in 8 hours at our Sat. evening service. I will spend those 8 hours taking care of my hubby who is on bed rest after taking a rock to the eye Thursday night, taking him to the eye doc for a check up, trying to do a tiny grocery store stop, getting to church early to set-up, all while also caring for toddler. I'm debating posting my sermon--it's been a tough week. Earlier I posted the sermon I wanted to preach but will not.

    My theme for the sermon is about how loved we are by God and how we need to hear it. I still need a children's time; ideas welcome!

  16. I'm doing baptism of Jesus, preaching a family friendly sermon at one smaller and one larger service. All week I've had either too many or too few ideas; I can't figure out which. I'm playing with the idea of being called by name, not the way a parent hollers out our full name when we're in trouble, but with love and for good (if possibly hard) things. Baptism is both God's call and our answer. But I can't seem to get the flesh on it, which has been very frustrating. I look forward to reading what you all are saying and doing!

    Not much people food around here, but I was just feeding the dog and kittens and would be glad to take care of anyone else's pets as well :-)

  17. Hello faithful lady-preachers and friends! (I have a funny story about being called a "lady-preacher" but that will have to wait for another time. Anyone else get dubbed with odd titles?)

    I'm in the office after a missions committee meeting this morning. All I have to offer is leftover Christmas Candy. Blech! Am finishing up some administrative tasks, off to visit with a family in order to prepare the funeral liturgy for their loved one.
    Then it's home to my cozy clothes and a few thoughts to introduce our evening series on the Apostles' Creed (thinking about why we have creeds at all if, as a Reformed denomination, we also love us some Sola Scriptura. Just finished Scot McKnight's The Blue Parakeet and plan to borrow liberally from his thoughts -- with due acknowledgments of course.)
    word verification "matera" somehow calls to mind the wonderful sisterhood here...

  18. I'm preaching on Luke and baptism, just not sure where I'm going with it yet. We, too, are renewing our baptismal vows and asperging. We had a baptism last week, and I wished it could've been this week, but it didn't work for the family.

    Diane, hope the headache is soon gone!

  19. Good morning all. Diane, I'm sorry for your headache and hope it passes soon.

    I am preaching Luke tomorrow. My title is "Beloved" and I'm thinking about names - the names we would choose for ourselves, the names we feel burdened by, and the true name that God has spoken over us in our baptism in Christ. I have some thoughts towards a beginning but haven't written anything yet.

    Now that my boys are in school every day (they are kindergartners instead of 3dy/wk preschoolers), I am feeling some regret over how my sermon prep schedule works. Saturday has always been a writing day for me, but now that it's the only day they are home (except Sundays, which are full of church activities and recovery from church activities and prep for the school week), I wish there were some way to do things differently. I can't figure out what that would be though...

  20. Betsy, I am included called by your name v1 (God knows your name) and called by God's name v7 by talking about baptism where we use the child's given name and then call them a child of God ... so we take the family name of God and become sons and daughters at baptism, just like God acknowledged Jesus at his baptism...

    Mine is all about God loves you, the center of the Isaiah text.

    I'm preaching a candidating sermon followed by the congregational meeting and vote. I hope the roads are clear enough that a lot of folks (OK, at least a quorum) get there. And that I can drive the hour to get there :)

    Plenty of Earl Grey tea here...
    oh, 1-4 Grace, at least it kills the bugs. :) although one cousin is complaining about not having heat in her house.

  21. Silent, I read your post on the sermon you wish you could preach; I am sorry you've been hit so hard this week by negative voices; keep listening to God's call of love!

    As I thought about your words, I remembered the set of Dove videos which demonstrate in various ways how hard we are on ourselves. Thought I'd mention it here, because there might be some good food for thought/examples. One in particular, called "Amy," ends with the tag that she can think of 12 things wrong with her appearance and the young man who adores her can't name one. How easily we listen to the negative voices, not the voice of love.[cp-documentid=7049579]/

    All of these are well worth the very few minutes it takes to watch them!

  22. here I am, like earthchick wishing I were not a saturday sermon writer since this is my family's day....

    BUT the sermon will somehow get written today around:
    1. writing a song about the things I love about the church
    2. taking DS to basketball practice
    3. getting an MRI for bum knee
    4. baking a cake for potluck/talent show
    5. attending potluck/talent show

    gack! And I'm not feeling all that great this morning, either.

    sigh. we have option to be anointed with oil tomorrow, as part of a way to remember baptism (although, GG, I wish we were doing aspertion just because I love to say that word!) which means the sermon can be short.

    and....Silent - no one hates you when you finish your sermon early - we all say hallelujah because we know that means that finished sermons are a possibility. and, I also would like to talk childrens time. I'm thinking of acting otu the baptism. I have a piece of beautiful blue cloth - 2 kids can shake it - and then one can be jesus, one john and the rest the crowds? trying to decide about the dove and how it will come down - maybe on a fishing pole? it will be corny, but work I think. what do you think?

  23. darn, headache still operates. pharmacy not open yet.

    looks like some good work going on here! Silent, praying for you re: the sermon you will preach and the sermon you aren't going to. and for your hubby.

    Althea, praying for you on your candidating sermon and Vote! and for good, or at least acceptable, weather.

  24. This must be the latest I have ever finished a sermon. I am preaching at 5:30 and am not done yet. I have to leave my house by 3 since I have to make a couple of stops on the way. Which means I have four more hours. Girls playing on lower floors. Hoping husband is being somewhat supervisory. Preaching on baptism and Naming and Claiming with some neat stories about a friend's adoption and my daughter's naming of her frogs. 1-4 do you have the BBT book Mixed Blessings? Great sermon in there right along the lines you describe. If you don't and want me to feed you some lines from it, let me know.

    Pickings are slim over here, most of the holiday chocolate is gone. I am also dealing with a stress fracture diagnosis which is going to royally mess up my training for a 1/2 marathon I signed up to run in May. I am a very cranky couch potato - especially since the sun is out for the first time in many days!

    Blessings to all preachers and others and praying for headache relief for Diane!

  25. In the midst of a crazy week, I some how got a draft mostly done. I'm preaching on Isaiah 43 and who we are - precious, honored, loved by God.

    Will do a remember your baptism option at the beginning of the prayers of the people.

    Juniper - love your children's sermon idea. The kids will definitely remember it and that's the whole point right - to help the kids know the story and tell the story.

  26. I am going to go home and take a little nap. I'll check in with you all in a couple of hours.

  27. mumpastor - oh, i so relate! hope that your healing comes quick.

    Dancing: thanks for the feedback on the kids sermon - glad it sounds ok :)

    diane - prayers, prayers. hope the nap and the meds do the trick. drive safely - it's hard when your head hurts, I know

    ok, song written, breakfast eaten
    (egg nog french toast, anyone want some?),
    now for an outline, which I need to get done in the next half hour, before flying off to basketball (where hopefully I can do some more typing!!)

  28. Hi everyone! Prayers for healing of Diane's headache and Vicar's general discomfort, successful candidating for Althea, and rapid inspiration for Mumpastor--and everyone else of course.

    No preaching for me but lots of teaching prep as the new term starts. Made a lot of progress on the first year World Religions yesterday so--except for tweaking their first quiz--today is all about the upper division Women and Religion. I am having a lot of anxiety as I readjust to being in the college classroom after time off for motherhood and ministry and moves for spouse's job--especially with two new preps to juggle versus last term's one with more familiar material. So I would appreciate prayers for peace, guidance, and stress management.

    Church directory picture in the middle of the day, too,--hopefully it won't eat up too much time. Trying to focus on the positive aspect--that after losing my ministry and worship community so dramatically in the fall God so quickly led me to a good worshipping community for my daughter and me. And we are singing in the choir together which is a real joy and a chance for ministry as well even if preaching and presiding are off the table. Also starting a dialogue with the interim rector about offering a mystics class/quiet day/spiritual direction for Lent.

    I have Krispy Kreme glazed donuts to share, brought home from our weekly mom and almost teenage son bonding time.

    Now I need to quickly discern whether I should start with prayer time to make sure it gets in and ground me for work (got completely off track spiritually over break and am just getting back in my routine)--or start with work so I get some of that in before the photo appt and don't stress about how late it will be when I get back. Come, Holy Spirit!

  29. I am so lucky not having to preach tomorrow. Our service will be conducted by elders. It has ben prepared by the Church of Scotland HIV/AIDS project people, so is looking at baptism in terms of do not be afraid and all are loved. After the service we'll be raising funds for the project through a soup and bread lunch. Souper Sunday here.
    Was looking back at last year's sermon for this Sunday. It is here if any of it is of any use to anyone. You are more than welcome. Because of AND in spite of our preaching, we are all beloved of God and the Spirit goes before us. Be blessed.

  30. I stayed up late last night to work on my sermon-- it's almost done. I'm preaching on the Isaiah 43 passage about God's love for us and God's presence with us. The pastor search committee just met last Sunday to begin their process so we are going to have a special time of prayer/commitment to symbolize the beginning of this journey. I need to finish up my coffee and get on the road to a planning meeting. I think I'm going to ask if we can move meetings like this (involve 2-3 people) to Sunday afternoons. Working today means the hubs and I don't get an entire day together :(. I'm sure this is the struggle many of you were talking about with kids too.

  31. Early enough to post this week, that hasn't been true.

    I was caught by the use of 'great expectation' on the Working Preacher site and went in a very different direction this time. Faced the winnowing and sifting straight on. This my reflect my own prickliness these days.

    I see grace there!

  32. Well, I managed not to check the "email" box earlier. Off to shuffle kid to next thing.

    I thought Sarah Dylan Breuer's sermon had great thoughts about living as baptized children of God. Check it out here

  33. I am going with a different format this week Three short bursts with musical responses... well I will if my second service tomorrow isn't cancelled. My first is a Covenant Service... I will set out through the snow with a flask of something hot!!!

  34. Good afternoon! I am hoping this year to become more involved in the blogging. I am leaning towards being beloved children of God for tomorrow's sermon. I am doing an interim in a congregation where there has been some tough times this fall and am thinking about having the congregation stand up and tell each other they are beloved children of God and placing the sign of the cross upon each other's foreheads. I really liked the story about Fayette on Jan Richardson's blog, so thanks for sharing that Jan! May God's healing touch be upon those not feeling well and the Spirit be with you in your preparations this day.

  35. There is still plenty to do here but I went ahead and posted my Epiphany themed congregational prayer in case anyone is in need of one. You will find it here

    I'm sure I'll be checking in again in a few. Keep on keeping on!

  36. hi everyone. Just wanted to let you know that I'm offering soup here for lunch if anyone wants some; that's what I'm having. It's also cold cold cold here.

    Welcome to all who have joined the conversation. I'm looking forward to reading some of the sermons in a little while.

  37. Praying for you preachers. We are moving a bookcase and I'm helping The Johnnie pack for college. No one told me that it would be as emotional for her to leave the 2nd semester as it was the 1st... :(

  38. Andrea, Hope you get to enjoying blogging. Diane hope that headache has gone...

    I am making sausage casserole for dinner if anyone wants some...

    It is tooooo cold here.

  39. Rough draft of sermon is done. You can find it on my blog here.

    Would anyone like any chili for lunch?

  40. Diane, prayers that your headache will ease.

  41. Here to join the party, and also to join those who are under the weather...I've got a killer sore throat and general achiness, and slept until 2 pm (which was probably a good thing). Tomorrow will be interesting...

    I'm taking a suggestion from Sundays and Seasons (our denom's big worship resource book) and using a story from Anne Lamott's Grace (Eventually)...the "Wailing Wall" story where they play the game "Loved and Chosen." Seems like a perfect fit with Isaiah and Luke.

    But first...I need to get out of my "I'm sick" sweats and go put gas in the car, then figure out what the heck to do with all those Christmas decorations still up at St. Larger. We sort of forgot we would need to tear them down by this Sunday...oops!

    Glad to hear things are coming together for many of us out there.

  42. Diane, how's your headache? Hope it has eased..


  43. Prisca@peace, I was touched by your message. It helped me go in the needed direction, I borrowed some but will give you credit, the cat in the hat story was just what I neede thanks.!

  44. Semfem, I love that Wailing Wall story!

    I am no further on my sermon. However, I've cleaned the toilet, vacuumed a few rooms, culled out old title insurance policies from the fire safe, and thrown away unused copies of our Christmas letter from 5 years . ago. Can you tell I am procrastinating??

    Diane, I hope the headache is banished soon.

    Althea, may the Spirit be at work in your words and the congregation's heart tomorrow!

  45. Dear all, I'm back. Headache: still a few minor twinges, but seems to be on its way out. thanks for asking.

    Prisca -- thanks for reminding me about the Working Preacher site. I need to use them more often!
    Juniper -- I'm a little envious of your songwriting abilities. Would love to hear some of your "stuff" someday.

    Ok, I have a sermon, sort of. Now I have to go see if it'll preach. Warming up the chapel...., I'll be back in a bit.

  46. As often happens, I ended up taking a somewhat different direction that I'd been thinking about earlier this week. So we'll see. It's posted here.

    And now I must set things up at church and then finish packing away the Christmas ornaments and get the tree out of the house!

  47. I'm back! getting ready for the "early edition" in the chapel. thinking about supper.

    How about you?

    Looks like we have a lot of drafts here. I promise that after 5:00 I'll be looking in and commenting.

    Start warm, everybody!

  48. Been at a presbytery meeting all day and haven't thought a think about my sermon since Tuesday or Wednesday. I need to do my best to keep it on my short side (not just shortER side, but short side). We're back to a full service with choir and prayers and sharing joys and concerns and a baptism. I've got to keep it really simple. I decided to definitely go with the naming aspect of baptism, being called a child of God, beloved. I really want to pull from Isaiah and being called by our name. Not at all sure what to do, though. I'm really not good at writing shorter sermons. I never feel like I have time to develop anything, so this will be an important, but difficult exercise for me.

    One kid is asleep; she was at a birthday party. The other is running around playing in front of me. (The third is pummeling my insides, but I guess that's too be expected.) I'll write after bedtime tonight for sure. I plan to use Walter Wangerin's children's book "Water, Come Down" in both the children's and regular sermon. It talks about baptism as the "naming day."

    That's all I've got now.

  49. Hey!

    I miss writing with all of you on Saturdays, but I have to be done earlier in the week now. This comes in handy today though as I too have been struck by the headache bug...

    There is yummy chicken vegetable soup on the stove here (with a kind of mexican flavor, I grabbed the cumin on accident, and then the only canned tomatoes I had were Rotel.), corn muffins, and whatever you would like to drink. If you need inspiration my musings(and feedback) and sermonare at my blog.

    Now to write some prayers of the people. Maybe tomorrow.

  50. oh, diane, it's not a SONG song, it's new words to My Favorite Things (which it turns out has a bit of a devilish thing going on at the end of the verse - I'm not much of a singer, I hope I dont muff it!). Hows your head? better I hope!!

    Have a good rough draft, thanks to repurposing of a devotional I wrote a couple of years ago for the ordinary time book! so yeah for that.

    Now I'm off to play with family for an hour, then heading for potluck and talent show. Wow, of impossible looking list I posted this morning, I managed to get quite a few of them done. Amazing.

    I have Gooey Pumpkin Butter Cake fresh out of the oven if anyone wants some. I'll be back after the potluck/talent show. Wish me luck!

  51. The good news is: I have a sermon.
    The bad news is: I have almost no voice and a cough.

    And even though I love football, I may even be asleep before the second game ends. If I wasn't feeding kids, I might even be asleep before the second game starts!

    Now to call "backups" just in case I have no voice in the morning.

  52. how is it going? she rev, we're here for you! I actually started with really short sermons and have gotten progressively longer.

    Often now when it has to be really short, I just try to think of a story, and use that with a few words of explication. it might be cheating, but it works.

  53. Knittinpreacher, I think Campbell's calls that "Southwest-style Chicken Soup" and I bet yours is a lot yummier!

    Vicar, hope your voice makes a reappearance.

    I have 2/3rds of a plan now, and the remaining pieces are there but have yet to find their order. I'm starting with the difference between being called vs. being called by name and going from there.

  54. Today is day 4 of a 5 day "Z pack" of antibiotics. I have almost no voice and I'm still coughing considerably. I'm staying home tomorrow. I have a church member who will lead worship, pray the prayers I usually pray, read my sermon and lead the Wesley covenant prayer.

    I'm getting something to eat and then I'm going to bed.

    Blessings on your Sunday

  55. I'm here, trying to get started, and shivering under a pile of blankets. Knittinpreacher, some of that Mexi-chicken soup sounds delicious and healing!

    I got the church mostly de-Christmasified and went shopping for a few necessities, then took a short nap to recover. Now on to the sermon. Only preaching at St. Smaller and I thought I had it all figured out. In which case I should just get writing so I can get a good night's sleep!

    She Rev, I love Water Come Down. may have given me an idea.

  56. Juniper acting out is always good with kids.
    Deb, I feel for you. Saying goodbye to daughter was always hard and this last goodbye, included sending her back to her husband of 3 short months. I am happy and sad all at once. Best wishes for the days ahead.

    I'm done the sermon on what we believe about baptism. I'm doing some "believe about theological topics" this years while trying to use lectionary texts to make things fit the season. I haven't blogged in a bit so I'm going to one of my stories about baptism. I really want to watch Watchman again and it's on a movie channel tonight. so best to all for headache free rest of the evening.

  57. The leadership event was better than I had anticipated. Nice lunch with 4 parishoners. Did some tweaking on the sermon.

    Sermon Title: God's Beloved. We are celebrating communion and I have plates which say "I love you" on them we will use for the bread.

    Sounds like a busy Saturday for many.

  58. Juniper...the cake sounds wonderful. Recipe????

  59. Thanks, Diane! I appreciate the ideas and "cheats." I don't think it's cheating at all. Maybe a shorter sermon is time for an extended metaphor/illustration. Hmmm....

    Will get started here shortly. Just finished up my ice cream and now I'm letting the space heater do it's work to bring my fingers back up to temperature to where they can actually time with any sort of speed. (Or that's what I'm telling myself.)

  60. Thanks for posting, Purple. I commented at your place!

  61. Sleepless in Seattle? Really? That's what's sucked me in tonight? Thank God it's almost over.

  62. Not as tight or as polished as I'd hoped, but here's my draft. Now to finish preparing to teach Sunday School!

  63. Diane, Vicar, and all who are aliling, get well soon.
    Semfem,Sherev and all you late nighers, looks like I will join you. Met a friend for supper, had a long visit and then went to Gardne Ridge.
    Her daughter was taken with my fingerless glvoes and so, I then had to find some "pink" yarn esp for her. So, now I have two sets to make them!
    Word Verf is ingaps.
    Very much what i have to do with my sermon now....fill in the gaps.
    Ugh, gonna be a long one and it is so darn chilly out, much better for sleeping weather.
    Anyhow, back to John, Jesus and the Jordan.

  64. Hi 1-4. Glad you're joining. Trying to get started, but my "way in" feels like one I've done before. My name obsession. Think I might start it with a Q & A from the congregation instead - - what do you know about where your name came from or what special meaning it had for your family? Then I don't feel like I'm rehashing some of my old stories, etc.

  65. hi, I'm still here, at least for a little while. had a later supper and "party" with the kids (grown-up) and now back for a little while. cleaning up, organizing, etc. and while check up on the party for a little while longer.

  66. SheRev, I'm doing something similar, though not at the very beginning, by asking people to share about their name with someone sitting near them (in the case of young kids, it might be parents telling their children why they chose the child's name). I think pretty much everyone's name has a story, even if it's "my parents just liked it." My point is that being called by name matters!

  67. All of this talk of naming makes me think of the Facebook app that grades your parents based on originality in choosing your name!

  68. I've been thinking about that, too, semfem and trying to see how it can work in here. I thought about it as my "way in," but it might fit somewhere else better, if at all. Still having a horrendous time focusing and getting going.

  69. she rev - me too re focussing and getting ready. on the internet trying to solve DH's health probs when the WHOLE POINT of my sermon is taht you cant really do that kind of thing for someone else.


    Good time at the talent show, although my song really was very terrible. Fun to see folks and have some hang out time, though :)

    OK, off to see if I need to polish or start totally over. Please let it be option one.

  70. Sorry things are moving slowly for you, too, Juniper. I kind of wish I could have combined last week and this week. They feel like they will be VERY similar sermons, so I'm having a hard time getting geared up to write this one. I've got a start (thanks to Purple), and I'm getting moving a little, but not much. I'm hanging in until Weekend Update on SNL (it got a late start because of a football game) and then I'm heading to bed for a little while. I feel like this one is sitting very disorganized on the tip of my fingers, so maybe the pressure of the morning writing will help get it out.

  71. Too much time out in the cold wind today has brought on the ear ache. Ugh.
    Almsot done with the sermon. Thinking about 200 or so words to tie it up and give 'em something to carry through the week.
    Trying to tie in the wind, water, fire ideas from an article on text week.
    I am dragging and the cats are all snoozing here on the sofa. Does anyone else find that the Sundays are incredibly clsoe together?
    OH, get this...our seminary student, who needs money, was given two opps(two) to preach and get $150 per time.
    Sadly, he just informed me he does not check his e-mail all that much. Uh, honey, you just missed $300 (untaxed) for your own use.
    I jumped at every chance to preach.
    I may have to have a little talk with him about the fact that the Presytery uses e-mail to communicate with our students on a regular basis.
    Okay, 200 or so words and my sermon is done.

  72. She rev, you are cracking me UP because I so often think that way, too. Like how many different ways are there to say "god loves you blah blah blah...."

    Ok, my sermon does NOT have to be scrapped, yeah!, so I'm twiddling now.

    Grace - dont know whether earaches or people who claim not to check email are more annoying....

  73. I know. It sounds horrible - - can you hear you're a child of God too many times? But it feels like I'm getting boring when I say it a few times in a row.

  74. UGH I can't seem to get started either. This is just ridiculous. I'm just starting to feel better, but I'm going to feel worse if I don't get any sleep tonight.

    She Rev, I don't think I'm using the Facebook app in my sermon, as interesting as the connection might be...I think it would just take too much time to explain.

    1-4, you can do it...glad someone is finishing up!

  75. Hey hey, I can't sleep (UGH - went to bed almost 2 hrs ago) so I thought I'd stop by the party. I figured the usual suspects would be here. ;)

    She Rev and semfem, I thought of talking about that app too! But then I realized that too many older ppl in the congregation would get lost too quickly, so I scrapped the idea.

    I'm also with those of you who often feel like I'm saying the same sorts of things all the time. Or at least a lot. But I love the message that I am called Beloved by God, and I'm hoping other people do too.

    Okay, a few more sips of Sleepytime and then I'm going to see if I can go to sleep this time! Blessings, y'all!

  76. Juniper, the e-mail thing is more annoying because, he has recently asked the church for more money.
    Here is a great opportunity and he blew it, totally.
    Ear aches come and go, but unmotivated folks, who do not check e-mail just stay around.
    Hope he learns to check e-mail before he starts looking for a call!

  77. semfem and earthchick - - me too! I've been down the FB road once or twice in a sermon and it's just too exhausting to describe what they're about. Someday I'll get invited to preach at a youth or young adult event and just use all these FB illustrations I've been saving up over time. By then it'll probably be out of date, but it feels like that's what I need to get them all out of my system!

    I put together a general outline that I think will flow well in the morning. I'm off to sleep (and put some clothes in the dryer) and will pull this all together in a few hours. I think what's harder about this one is that I don't feel like I have some complex or seemingly unique argument or take on the text. It's plain old, gotta hear, love to know it good news which is AWESOME, but it feels like it's harder put forth in a new way. Maybe I don't need a new way.

  78. She Rev, the message that each one of us uniquely loved, chosen, and named by God is one of those deep truths that we can never hear too many times. It feels repetitive to us, but for someone in the pew it could be like a drink of fresh water.

    At least that's what I'm telling myself as I try to rev the sermonating engine! :)

  79. sherev - that actually might be a good sermon in itself "there's no new way to tell you this, but every time you hear it, it's news...."

    grace - now YOU are cracking me up.

    oh, that facebook thing is impossible. I tried to tell a Glee thing recently and all the air just got sucked right out of the room.....

    ok, though, i'm off to bed. only 10:30 here - might actually get some sleep tonite!!

    blessings all on your days tomorrow, BELOVEDS. rock the word.

  80. Hey gals and pals! Been a while since I've posted or blogged...major personal upheavals in my life over the past few months and I just haven't found my groove...yet!

    Thank you, though, for inspiring me and for sharing so many wonderful, fresh ideas. I have a much too long sermon done for tomorrow here. Comments welcomed!

    May the Holy Spirit strengthen you in writing and in sharing God's Word!

  81. Okay. I just got a great idea, but to follow it I would have to scrap pretty much my entire sermon and write something based on a movie I have not seen. Why does this kind of thing always happen at 4:30 Sunday morning?!

    (This is where someone says, "because you don't start preparing until sometime on Saturday evening.")

    Then again, Anne Lamott says she was taught in therapy or rehab that any idea you get after 10 pm is not usually a good one. So this one is going buh-bye.

    And I'm polishing my sermon, which is done, and heading to bed for a few hours of precious sleep.

    Blessings on all pondering, preaching, and proclamation today!

  82. Just wrote two paragraphs on "but now" and I don't think they're bad. That was a good sleep.

  83. Rather than resist sounding like this one is a lot like last week I decided to stop stressing about (with help from a few others of you, of course) and run with it - - pulling some of my key phrases and using them. It's not repetition; it's continuity!

  84. I'm so glad some of you are up still, or up again, or whatever.

    I finished my ordination papers on Thursday!!! and then mailed them on Friday!!! which means I have had no time to work on a sermon.

    Luckily it should be short b/c we also are doing a remembrance of baptism in the service. But I still have zero words on a page.

    In planning worship, we really hit on the theme of "be not afraid." We are starting the stewardship series "Enough" which hits the same theme for the introductory sermon AND my congregation wants a refresher on the whole missional transformation thing we introduced to them last summer.

    Yes, you read that right - they want a refresher. They forgot what I had told them and our deadline came and went to participate, and they want to know what they might have missed (or still might have the opportunity to join in on).

    So for those of you who are worried about saying the same thing over again - they probably need a refresher too! I can't even remember what I preached last week, and I preached it - lol.

  85. oh - and whoever liked Sarah Dylan Bruer's sermon - THANK YOU!!!!

    I think I'm going to cut myself some slack this week, borrow and adapt some of her stuff about living out our baptisms and talk about ways right now in our congregation we are invited to do so. I forgot I hadn't read the Bishops Letter to United Methodists and I think it actually will be a great tie in to the challenge... and throughout it all I'm going with the refrain - do not be afraid - you have been called by name.

  86. Katie, sounds awesome! Blessings as you get going in finding a Word from God for yourself and others. Blessings on those ordination papers that have been signed, sealed, and (hopefully soon) delivered!

  87. In the interest of time I think I'll pull my name Q & A. I'll pose the question, but not look for answers, or at the very least I'll decide in the moment if I have time for that. I got a little longer than I wanted to, but if I skip that it's the perfect length, so it just might be skipped.

    Getting ready to post and print!

  88. oh! everyone! I meant to stay up, and work, and I fell asleep on the couch in my bathrobe! So sorry! I guess I'm going to go with what I've got then, such as it is.

    anyway, I want to tell everyone (including myself) to get out there and walk those dogs!

    and remember, that the holy spirit has our backs. yeah.


You don't want to comment here; instead, come visit our new blog, We'll see you there!

Note: Only a member of this blog may post a comment.