Visit our new site at

Saturday, January 16, 2010

11th Hour Preacher Party: When the World is Shaken

Updated 2:30 pm--Check out the post above for the story of Nutella's parents, who are in Haiti. Preachers, you are welcome to share it.
Friends, when we started our lectionary discussion on Tuesday, there had been no earthquake in Haiti. For many of us this means we're thinking about how this becomes part of our sermon, or whether it does, and those are small concerns compared to what's going on in Haiti, but this work is what we do. We try to open the Word even and especially in dark times, even when we ourselves may wonder where God is in the midst of loss and chaos and despair. I hope today we can help each other to do our work.

In the comments, share with us what you are planning to preach, your texts, your theme, your direction, your challenges on this Saturday. Will you bring together what you may have planned earlier in the week with the events in Haiti? Stay on the lectionary or set it aside? Pray for Haiti but preach as planned? Or something else entirely?

I invite you also to share stories you may have heard or read since the earthquake. I'm reading the blog of UCC/DoC Global Ministries missionaries Kim and Patrick Bentrott.  The picture here is their home, where they lived on the third floor of what is now a two-story building.

If someone from your denomination or church is in or has been in Haiti, let us know. And if you have earthquake-related resources to share, please do that, too: hymns, prayers, donation information. Link if you can, and if it's a problem, don't worry, I'll keep up with you and add links if needed.

And somehow, together, we'll get there.

I'm adding to this post throughout the day, linking directly to resources shared in the comments.

First, here is the always excellent United Methodist Church Worship page with lots of resources including the prayer by Safiyah Fosua recommended by Patty.

To learn about United Methodist Committee on Relief (UMCOR) Health Kits, go here.

Sarah suggests the material at the United Church of Christ (UCC) website, including a hymn using the tune St. Christopher (known familiarly as "Beneath the Cross of Jesus").

knittinpreacher points us to the PC(USA)'s Presbyterian Disaster Assistance page about Haiti, which includes a link to this prayer.

Diane let us know that you can find materials and donation instructions on the front page of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America's website. And go to Pretty Good Lutherans for tributes to seminarian Ben Larson, who died in the earthquake while on a mission trip.

Margaret shared ways The Episcopal Church is helping in Haiti, and this page includes a prayer. Please see her comment below for suggested scripture references.

Brian Merritt, spouse of our Carol Howard Merritt, compiled a list of organizations receiving funds that are actually being used on the ground in Haiti. It's on his church website: The Palisades Community Church.

Meg points us to the website of the Christian Reformed Church's World Relief Committee (CRWRC).

Gord shared this link to the United Church of Canada's Haiti Appeal.

And one more--Crimson Rambler shares this link from the Anglican Church in Canada: PWRDF is the Canadian Anglican response for the emergency relief, refugees, development, and justice. 


  1. If my reputation has not already preceded me, this post should demonstrate that I am truly a night owl. The stuff that is calming my cough also tends to keep me awake (albuterol via nebulizer). So, even though I need to rest, I'm awake and the tv is on.

    There have been times this week when I just had to quit watching "news" and reading twitter, facebook, & blogs. But, at the same time, saw those very tools used to raise a lot of money to help those who desperately need help and communicate in wider circles than I had previously considered with any depth (which I honestly thought were fairly wide).

    From my sickbed, using my laptop, feeling the need to do something besides just lie there, I posted the list for health kits for UMCOR (United Methodist Committee on Relief) to my facebook. My sister saw it. From another state, as a member of another denomination, she started organizing her Sunday School class with a goal of 20 health kits. Within less than an hour, the church secretary called her to ask, "Can I put this in the church bulletin?"

    I'm not sure I have a straightforward way to say it yet but somehow my facebook story seems to tie with the lectionary texts, maybe Corinthians more than John, but maybe John, too.

  2. I'm using a prayer from Haiti Cries . . . And We Cry With Them (A prayer as we search through the rubble) by Safiyah Fosua
    as the opening to worship tomorrow. then the hymn 'When Pain and Terror strike by chance', followed by the psalm for the day, as an affirmation of God's presence - then following more or less as planned. Preaching on John with a dash of Corinthians. Pinching an idea from SheRev from Tuesday - everything being here that is needed. Do we allow ourselves to be transformed by Jesus into wine for a broken and hurting world.
    Now to finish typing and get some sleep. Feel well on the way and it is only 8.30pm.

  3. I am struggling with how much I should change what I have planned for a family celebration service at church. We have wedding cake and are going to make fruit cocktails. The prayers had the response 'Stir and shake us up like a cocktail into the people you want us to be' which somehow seems a bit insensitive now. The point was to celebrate our extravagant God who loves us with an abundant overflowing love. I am going to stick with this. We do need to celebrate God in bad times too especially when folks will be questioning where he is in all this. Our folks need to affirm that our God is a good God. We need to reflect that abundant love in the way our hearts and money go out to the people of Haiti.

  4. I'm currently stuck as to what to do really. I have a service of the word for a congregation of mainly mature adults. They normally have quite a regular morning prayer so I'm not sure about how far to reflect on the terrible news in Haiti whether just to do the preach and the prayers on that- and in the midst of all that discussion the dog has decided I should be fussing her rather than sitting at my laptop!!

  5. Songbird, thanks, as always for posting right to the heart of the matter. I'm thinking, thanks to Tuesday's lectionary leanings, though then the earthquake had not struck that that focus on how everything is to hand - we have all the resources we need to transform the world around us is still apt for this Sunday after Haiti. Would now like to find a UK outlet or inlet to allow our youth church to respond practically - I was going to take along a roll on the floor laughing monkey - to celebrate Jesus' extravagance, but I'll ditch that idea.
    Bottom line is, as is often the way, I believe the lectionary texts still speak into the reality that is our hurt and broken world. Thanks be to God.

  6. I'm not preaching this weekend, but responding to your question re: if anyone from our denomination is in Haiti. There are/were two groups of students from Lutheran Seminaries in Haiti right now on January term assignments. One of the students, Ben Larson, has been confirmed as dead.

    We are taking a door offering for Haiti via request from Lutheran Disaster Response. If there are any suggested liturgical responses, I'll post them.

  7. oh, and I also need a children's sermon for Sunday.

  8. I'm going to start adding links for worship materials to the post above. Hope this helps. Thanks to all who have commented thus far.

    Diane, I had already planned to do a children's word about our prayer shawl ministry, and I'm going to tie that to helping people after the earthquake, both ways we show God's care tangibly. The Psalm for this week (36:5-10) is one I've used at Prayer Shawl dedications in the past, so it seemed like the right tie-in. I have a new shawl and I'm going to bring in two that have been gifts to me and one I made for my daughter so children can touch and "wear" them while we talk.

    A member of our World Service Committee will speak about the earthquake and how our church is responding via a special offering just prior to the children's time.

    My colleague is away, so I'm on for the whole thing, sermon and pastoral prayer. The sermon I had planned will not be adequate for the occasion. We've been addressing hospitality at church, and I was headed in that direction, sort of a halfway-through-the-interim assessment of how they're doing on one of the things they named as a goal for the next few years. That's not unimportant, but it doesn't feel like enough or the right tone for this weekend.

  9. I was planning to preach on 1 Corinthians 12; I like that it carries through next week and then we have 1 Cor 13 on Jan 31. Our church council just adopted a "Covenant for Christian Leadership and Faith Community Behaviors," and I was going to use the preaching moment to help communicate and expand on the document, which was printed in our January newsletter, since I'm sure there are some who haven't read it, or would like to learn more about it.

    Anyway, I was thinking of scrapping it after news about the earthquake in Haiti became more forthcoming, but I have decided to try to weave the two themes together. I want to talk about how we are best able to help others when we are healthy and when we take good care of ourselves, so I believe it is still important to make sure we're talking about the covenant.

    The elephant in the living room for me is whether or not the members of my congregation have been as gripped by what is happening in Haiti as I have. I believe in my heart that they are all worrying and that they all DO want to help. The reason for the concern is that these are good blue-collar people who are not very effusive or forthcoming with their thoughts & feelings, so who knows what they are thinking? I think I will still do a large focus on Haiti, believing that they are probably struggling...and also that it is the right thing to do.

    Oh, and I have been helped by this page at the UCC website: -- the portion on Haiti has been most helpful.

  10. Diane, I'm so sorry about Ben. Scott at Nachfolge had posted about him. What a sad loss.

  11. I am finishing up the sermon that should have been done on wednesday to get the images form our picture guy. I'll post as soon as I have cleaned it up -- need to take out thr church name etc for blog eyes.
    The text is the 1 corinthians text and I am using a this american life illustration and talking about spiritual gifts - -i went to the idea that this is alsi the beginning of the week for prayer of christian unity and how we all together make up the body of christ, and then moved to haiti - -how we all together make up the response, and thank God that we have all been given different gifts to respond to this crisis, and for us far away perhaps our gifts is prayer (a stretch, but as close as I could get)

    Presbyterian Disaster Assistance has some info, and I am using the prayer written by some of our folks as the beginning of the

    Songbird, it is not mine to share, but if you know Nutella in real life/spacehook (I think you do) ask if you could see the e-mail from her parents in Haiti - -there are words in there about hospitality that may be helpful for your regrouping.

  12. Sorry for the typos - -I edited and then lost the post!

  13. Yes, and pretty good lutherans has some other bloggers' reflections up this morning as well. The ELCA has a bulletin insert and worship resources as pdf files. I know I know how to link to them, but it's a little early for me to think that hard.

    We have a prayer shawl ministry, so I'm considering what you are saying. but the sr. pastor is preaching, so I might want to check with him and make sure we segue rather than repeat one another...

    I didn't know Ben, but it turns out our music director knew him at Luther Colllege. He sounds like an incredible young man.

  14. We have joint worship tomorrow and my parts are the Prayers of the People - lots of good examples to start with out there - then I'll add my own style, definitely including the people of Haiti and asking the Spirit's movement among us, that we might do all we can to help.

    The UCCan has asked for money donations only, so I was thinking of taking a coffee can and covering it with pictures of everyday things like bread and water and beds and shoes and talking to the children about how the children in Haiti may not have all these things now, so perhaps we could send the can around the congregation and see if any money goes into the tin to help the Church buy those things for people who have lost everything.

    I'll have to check it out with my colleague as it is a second/special offering for the day, but I'm sure it will be fine.

  15. Here is the collect and suggested readings approved by last summer's General Convention for times of disaster:

    Collect: Compassionate God, whose Son Jesus wept at
    the grave of his friend Lazarus: Draw near to us in this time of sorrow
    and anguish, comfort those who mourn, strengthen those who are weary,
    encourage those in despair, and lead us all to fullness of life;
    through the same Jesus Christ, our Savior and Redeemer, who lives and
    reigns with you, in the unity of the Holy Spirit, God for ever and
    ever. Amen
    Psalm Lessons
    60:1-5 Job 14:7-13
    or 130 or Jeremiah 31:15-20
    or 80:1-7
    or 23 Romans 8:35-38
    or Revelation 21:1-7
    or Romans 8:18-25
    Luke 6:20-26
    or Mark 13:14-27
    Preface of God the Son
    or Preface of the Commemoration of the Dead

    The Episcopal Church has put up a direct link to information about Haiti. That site should also link to Episcopal Relief and Development for donations.

    The Diocese of Haiti has lost its cathedral, several schools, the hospital, the convent and many other structures. We have lost very few people. Bishop Duracin, along with three missionaries from the US, has set up a tent city on a football field. ER-D is working closely with his efforts (it has always had a presence in the country).

    As for the sermon, I preached about Haiti on Wednesday. It will definitely come up in tomorrow's sermon. I have posted my initial thoughts but I haven't worked in Haiti yet. I'll probably do a little more didactic exegesis at the beginning of my sermon. Just because I'm tired of it doesn't mean everyone else knows it already. ;-)

    Finally, we will have a prayer service tomorrow evening led by our vocational deacon.

  16. Praying today, hourly: For Haiti and her people; and for all of you preparing to lead worship and preach tomorrow.

  17. I have a pretty good idea of where I am going. My direction from Tuesday solidified itself a little more, basically focusing on the "ordinariness" of the materials that Jesus used to perform this miracle, to reveal his glory and who he is (source of abundant grace and life - that part is new right now). Then combining it with the gifts of the Spirit that are given with the ultimate point that the church has been given everything it needs to do God's ministry, to reveal Christ's glory and share his abundant grace and life with the world. Connections seem to come pretty naturally to Haiti here. We have what we need to be a part of Jesus' healing of that nation and people. We just have to let ourselves be used the way we are called to be used. (Roughly)

    But first, I have a most-of-the-day Bills and Overtures meeting for the presbytery. So instead of good wine and miracles, I'll first spend several hours wrestling polity and divisive issues. Sounds great.

  18. Good morning, everyone....Some wonderful resources and preaching/liturgy planning here.

    A personal gratitude: Not preaching this weekend but will be before long. I met with the interim rector at the new parish to discuss the spiritual direction and Lenten retreat day I will be offering....And he blew me away by asking me to preach twice during Lent as well (and presumably on occasion afterwards if those go well). God is so good! And you all were so good to support and pray me through the loss of the last ministry placement and serendipitous appearance of this quiet but real one.

    Teaching work continues to be intense with two new preps, though after two weeks I can't believe we will soon be finishing up the first unit in each class (Hinduism in World Religions and Goddess spirituality in Women and Religion). Will try to get a lot done today and then switch into birthday/Sabbath mode with my #45 dinner and cake tonight and Ladybug's #7 Chuck-E-Cheese party tomorrow.

    Will hold everyone in prayer as I offer mass this noon and if there are any special requests please shout 'em out.

  19. For those of you still focused on John, a fun children's sermon is to put powdered red or purple drink mix in clear glasses, then fill them from a large pitcher of water. It's dramatic to watch.

  20. I was lost with the lectionary and then found some helpful words about John in Feasting on the Word: “We see a world in need, and we believe in one who claimed to bring abundant life those in need. In a world where for so many there is no clean water – let alone fine wine – where is the extravagance of God?”. . . “It may seem like a travesty to turn a narrative about divine abundance into a trial of God, and yet, it is passages like this that one about divine extravagance that make God’s seeming absence in the face of poverty, suffering, and evil stand out. Because we trust that God wants abundance, we follow in the footsteps of the mother of jesus prodding God for divine compassion and generosity:” ‘They have no wine.’ They have no medical supplies. They have no way out of that rubble. They have no clean water.

    So I am attempting to explore theodicy theories & how ultimately, we don't know. We better serve God's suffering children when we spend less time asking "Why?" and more time asking "What can I do?"

    Also may be exploring Isaiah and the issue of silence. How have we been guilty of silence about Haiti and other areas of injustice?

    Healthy protest – we are called to cry out on behalf of the oppressed. Isaiah: "For Zion’s sake, I will not keep silent!" For Haiti’s sake, I will not keep silent.

  21. I am sticking with the sermon as usual but we will have some members of our church who are in Haiti yearly with Partner's International share with the congregation during the congregational prayer -- they still have not recieved word from many of their friends there.
    Also, here is a link to the
    Christian Reformed World Relief Commitee

  22. Knitting preacher, thank you thank you thank you for your idea of weaving 1 Corinthians 12 with the varied gifts that people are bringing to give aid to Haiti. And anonymous, love the line about how we serve God's suffering children better by asking, "what can we do." rather than asking "why"

    I was going to preach on 1 Corinthians 12 alone this morning and talk about spiritual gifts and weave it in with a rememberance of Martin Luther King however I woke up this morning with Haiti heavy on my mind.

    The church I was ordained in supports three children's homes in Haiti. I just found out yesterday that two of the homes are fine and residents were unharmed, however the home in the heart of the city was demolished and the status of those children unknown. I am praying so much for them.

  23. I want to thank you all so much for sharing resources. Keep them coming! If you are someone who checks the comments throughout the day, I hope you'll look back at the original post to get the links.

    I've spent the morning reading and thinking about Haiti and theodicy, and thus far my sermon consists of a title in a Word Document. I think I need to get out of the house and move around. I'll be back later and update any new links then.

  24. Songbird, I think I can do the prayer shawls and connect it to 1st Corinthians, but I just considered that we have quilters too, and they send their quilts all over the world. So I think I should try to get one of their offerings...

  25. I have been planning for weeks to preach on John with the title "just do it"...and a theme somewhere along the lines of the real miracle being that people did what Jesus (an unknown at this point) asked...and when we do what Jesus asks (a seemingly unrelated task, even!), abundance flows. I think I can tie that to Haiti without even any effort on my part.

    The trouble is, of course, that it's once again church dinner party night, and I still have to go to the store to get the stuff for the appetizer I'm supposed to I have to be done by about 4. And it's now almost 11 and I don't even have a title in a Word document yet. hm....

  26. There is a "what can you do?" story from on the ground in Haiti here.

  27. I just pulled out the sermon I preached the first Sunday after Katrina dealt with the basic themes of theodicy--how can God "let" things like this happen? I think I can rework it and pull John in, too, (God's abundance is there for us even (or especially) in times of horrific tragedy, and our responses to the tragedy are an important part of that abundance) or something like that.

    Our parish has a personal connection with the sisters from the Convent of St. Margaret which was totally destroyed, so I know that we will be reaching out to them as well as assisting through Episcopal Relief and Development.

  28. Carol Winfrey Gillette, Presbyterian pastor, wrote the hymn "In Haiti, There is Anguish" to the tune St.Christopher. You can find this on the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.) website in the section for Presbyterian Disaster Assistance.

    I'm changing my service by adding prayers for Haiti and this hymn.

    Something about filling the jars with water then using this water for wine is coming into a sermon where the Wedding at Cana meets Haiti.

  29. It occurs to me that my plan originally had to do with talking about Katrina, since I have just been to the Gulf Coast for the fifth year in a row. Why am I making this so hard for myself? That all goes together.

  30. As I did lectio with the WeddingCana passage the words that caught me three times were Mary's.. Do what he tells you.
    In terms of the wedding miracle in great abundance. In terms of the People of Haiti miracles in abundance are needed.
    So I was reading thru the comments above and all the sources of churches responding. Yesterday there were pictures of the rescue workers who were going to Haiti from, France, US. Canada, China, England, and Peru. I thought... we can work together for Good..we can work together for God.
    We can do miracles when we together and individually "Do what Jesus tells you. "

  31. Conversation at my house just now--
    Me: I've written the last line of my sermon.
    Spouse: How'd it come out?
    Me: I don't know. That's the only line I've written.
    Spouse (knowingly): Ohhhh...

  32. I've just heard from Nutella, who is one of our longtime preacher party participants. Her parents are in Haiti, and she has kindly shared with us their story. I made it a separate post to our blog, which you may find here.

  33. I wrote about theodicy in my latest column for the local paper. You can find it on my blog.

    Also the UCCan has issued a special appeal for Haitian relief. More at the <a href=">UCCan website</a>

    {for some reason I am unable to paste into the comment box, otherwise I would have given more direct (and therefore longer) URLs

  34. Thanks, Gord. I've also added it in the post.

  35. Re theodicy, for Katrina as well as Haiti--some of the suffering came from a natural disaster, part of the way God created the world though certainly not God's will or specific choice...But a huge amount from human free will and choice for evil, given that the terrible poverty and injustice beginning in colonialism and continuing in international relations between developed and developing world caused so much of the weak infrastructure and limited resources for recovery.

  36. Sarah said, "The elephant in the living room for me is whether or not the members of my congregation have been as gripped by what is happening in Haiti as I have."

    I have the same elephant

  37. ey everyone! Just checking in for a quick morale booster. I am headed to the grocery store to pick up toppings for pizza night at my house -- I;m planning on roasted broccoli with ricotta cheese. What can I bring back for anyone? There is Diet coke in the fridge, a bottle of red wine for those who can drink and write, and I also have chocolate on the list.

    I thought I commented earlier with the link to the sermon, but blogger ate it, so here it is: The Return of the One Day Band

    Oh, and the Sermon Fairy just said she (along with teh Clooney, Antonio, and the Holy Spirit) are keeping busy today with all of you in your writing, so holler if you need them and they will be there promptly.

    Songbrd, can you tell us the last line? For me, that's ALWAYS the hardest part!

  38. It's a play on the words in the sermon title, which is "Wonderworks."
    "Together, through Christ, we can work wonders."
    I must admit the sermon has mostly come together, except for the part I need to write about how we want God to work bigger wonders than turning water into wine, bridging to the idea that we are called to work those wonders together, on his behalf. Something like that.

  39. By the way, I'm serving a church that is very mission-oriented. In March we'll send our third work trip to New Orleans, and they've done Honduras work trips and Safe Passage in Guatemala all in recent years. So this is a topic they'll hear pretty readily.

  40. My last year in seminary I took a class on evil and suffering and the thing I found most helpful was work by Wendy Farley (Tragic Vision and Divine Compassion: A Contemporary Theodicy). At the risk of over simplifying her arguments, what I am using from it is the notion that although created by a perfect God, creation is less than perfect--earthquakes, floods, hurricanes and disease are all part of the natural order. In light of this suffering is inevitable and incomprehensible, and what matters for us is how we respond to it. Clearly in times like these we respond with an outpouring of compassion and care, but we ought also to not limit that compassion and care to times of tragedy. And we ought to always be working to combat the human structures that make suffering worse--we can't prevent storms but we can prevent inadequate infrastructures, poverty, and so forth.

    Anyway, some of that is working its way into my sermon...

    And I agree with knittinpreacher: the last line is often the hardest part!!!

  41. Oooh, Rev Dr Mom, I think I must work that book onto my reading list! What you jotted down is how I have tried to "explain" God's hand in natural disasters and our response to them when folks (especially confirmands!) ask these types of questions.

    Vicar, thanks for empathizing with my concern about the elephant. I was worried I would seem insensitive of (to? how do I say this?) my congregation! How are you handling it? Anyone else have any thoughts on this?

  42. A couple of resources I've found helpful (because, as it turns out, I can't stay with the preaching plan I created earlier this week. I have to speak to this tragedy):

    David Brook's op-ed from the New York Times (thanks to Erica) speaks to the systemic sins which set the stage for this tragedy.

    And, if you are in need of righteous indignation, John Stewart will brovide it for you in this clip.

  43. Yikes. I think I'm done, but I have 2355 words. That's a lot, right?

  44. The letter from Nutella's parents is a pretty good sermon all by itself. I will read it at some point, perhaps at the prayer service tomorrow evening.
    Thanks so much for passing that on, Nutella. Suzi and John will be added to our prayers.

  45. All of you have been so insightful in providing different approaches to what is an international crisis: the earthquake itself and then the excrutiatingly slow dispersement of the aid that is flowing from all over the world. I just discovered that the top executive for the United Methodist Committee on Relief (UMCOR) died in the wreckage of his hotel there.

  46. Sarah, the folks at my church would love it if you came and preached 2355 words to them. I'd love it too as trying to write this sermon feels like trying to nail jello to the wall.

    And, yes, Nutella, please tell your parents what a beacon of God's grace their story and their friends are to me. They are in our prayers.

  47. okay, I have a draft. I'm not happy with it, exactly, but it will have to do for now as it's time for me to get ready for this dinner party! feedback welcome! I'll be back later tonight with anything I can smuggle out of that party and into this one!

  48. Hello everyone, I am trying hard to focus and get a sermon written before I am up all night again. Last week, staying up late to write seemed like the only choice, but a simple head cold turned into a major chest cold production as a result, so I cannot, repeat, cannot do that this week.

    I am finding connections to Haiti all over the place, thanks to your insightful thoughts here and at the Tuesday discussion. St. Smaller went through a natural disaster of their own about five months ago, so I am hoping they will be more receptive to a sermon that connects to Haiti. St. Larger, I don't know...I have some of the same concerns as Sarah. Folks will know about it, and feel sorry for the people of Haiti, but not really let themselves be moved or touched or least that's my hunch right now.

    The letter from Nutella's parents is so sad but so beautiful...the image of community arising in the field after utter destruction...THAT is resurrection to me, even in the face of apocalypse.

  49. semfem, I agree. It's beautiful, even though I wish it didn't have to be happening.
    We're back from a dinner with my husband's aunt and uncle. We don't usually go out on Saturday nights, but this was early enough that I have more time now to finish before it gets too late.

  50. Finished a very rough draft of my sermon. Please come to my blog and take a look at it. Would appreciate any feedback on my sermon.

  51. I would love to, if only I could get mine to come together! I think I'm almost there, but not quite.

  52. Thanks to all of you and the many, many helpful links posted here, I have a draftof a sermon.
    Comments welcome.
    Songbird, thanks so much for keeping us so informed today.
    I'm just going to finish off some of the service powerpoint and then call it a day (12:30 here) and edit in the morning.
    Blessings on this sunday when once again we are called to preach in a world changed forever.

  53. Computer issues have prevented me from checking in to read all the good comments and resources. I used the John passage and I Corinthians passage. Within the context of using our gifts, I talked about Haiti and the loss of a beloved member of the congregation.

    Large (250 plus people) funeral planned on Tuesday morning...and co-officiating with previous pastor. Today, I learned PP has absolutely no sense of boundaries...all I can say about that.

    Here is the sermon.

  54. Joining the party a little late, but hopefully the sermon will be done soon! I working the 1 Corinthians text and the John text together. Talking about how Jesus brought grace with his sign of using the jars that had been used to hold the water for the purification rites. Instead of law, the wine brought grace. Also talking about how do we claim our own spiritual gifts in this coming year as we seek to have more people making commitments to the ministry of the church. I am in an interim and the commitment is lacking at this time, but there is a good spirit, just gotta let the Holy Spirit keep rolling. Also plan to tie spiritual gifts to how we can help the people in Haiti. Praying for healing and restoration and strength for those in Haiti in the days to come. Thanks Nutella for sharing your parent's e-mail.

  55. Hello, party gals. I have been booted from my computer for a good bit of the day by a little boy who was using the Playhouse Disney website to write a book. I'm not preaching tomorrow, so I was content to do other things.

    It's time now for me to write my prayer for tomorrow. In addition to praying for the people of Haiti, of course, I will also be including Malaysia in the prayers. I don't know how many of you are aware of what's going on there - it's not been in much of the news I've read/heard/seen, esp. with the disaster in Haiti - but numerous churches have been firebombed there in the last several days, b/c of a Catholic publication using the word "Allah" for God, which infuriated many Muslims, who are in the majority in Malaysia (this is the simplified version of the story - you can read more online elsewhere). Two of our students are from Malaysia, and they are quite worried about their Christian friends and family back home.

    I just wanted to make sure others knew about what's going on there.

    Anyway, best wishes to those of you who are still preparing, and blessings on all who preach tomorrow.

  56. First of all, am I the only one having a hard time posting today? I know at least some others aren't seeing the usual comment posting page lay out, but sometimes I'm even having a problem gettign signed in to post. I lost a few earlier in the day that never made it to the comments.

    That said, I'm back, and I know semfem is out for the late night crew. Hopefully there will be a few others with me. I've got what I think are a lot of good connected thoughts, but my fear is actually that I have TOO MANY thoughts. I haven't gotten much - - OK - - any of them down on virtual paper yet though, so we'll see. Eating ice cream and messing around a little longer, then I'll get to work!

  57. She Rev, we're trying the embedded in the page comments to see if it solves some posting problems in newer browsers like Chrome. I wonder if you hit "preview" instead of "Post comment?" I'm sorry if this caused a problem. Please direct any other feedback to me. Thanks!

  58. No problem. I just got used to needing to sign in at the top before posting my comment. They would get lost in cyber-space if I tried to sign in as I was commenting. I guess if other folks who aren't using Google IDs are OK, then it's not a big deal. I just need to remember to do that first when I come to the page. No worries! Thanks!

  59. Well She Rev, I don't yet have any words of the sermon written yet, so I might be here later than I planned. UGH. But I think I have finished pretty much everything else I needed to get ready for tomorrow, so that's good.

    Going to grab a quick bite of dinner, then get down to it. I promise!

  60. Still here, still writing--having a harder time getting it to come together than I expected. Sigh.

  61. Y'all, I'm going to call it a night. This was a hard pull, and my prayers are with those of you still working. See you in the morning!

  62. I managed to pull a sermon together. I'm kinda distracted by football tonight. But, then again, I'll be preaching to folks that will be distracted by "how close to kickoff is it" in the morning.

    I still have to get the prayers together and print it all. But I'm still fighting the same sickness as last week so I don't need a really late night.

  63. I am jsut now checking in. Actually, jsut now thinking about it! I had an all day retreat with the COM(our denominaition's answer for a lot of situations, we also oversee those who are coming into and out of our presby). Anyhow, long meeting, with some difficult and unbloggable stuff to deal with.
    I had planned a sermon using the Corith. text in relation to our elders to be ordained and installed tomorrow.
    However, in lieu of the events this week, my sermon has changed. I had already planned to work in part of Nutella's mother's letter.
    But, thanks for posting SOngbird! It is important that we are aware.
    My heart breaks for those of you who await word and for those who have lost members in your on denominations and communities.
    This is the first time I have preached in the aftermath of a disaster. I was a seminary student during 9/11 and when Katrinia hit, I was an associate.
    I feel the burden now, to share a word of hope, but also be to text, and deal with so much junk making its way around(THANK YOU PAT ROBERTSON!)
    I keep wanting to wish bad things on him, but that is not the Christian thing to do.
    I am proably going with the children's sermoni dea on with the coin and fingers.
    Sigh. Feeling the burden, but greatful for the many who are serving and using their gifts to the greater good.
    May God bless you all as you share the Word tomorrow.

  64. Can't step away from the Spacehook games. Tried, but can't.

  65. I'm back to do some editing...and I come bearing angel food cake with strawberry frosting! yum! I swiped it from the dinner party as I was leaving. :-) I would have brought you mashed potatoes too, but I ate them all. sorry. ;-)

    I'm still not really happy with my sermon, but I think it will have to do. I don't think I have the mental energy--between Haiti and church stuff--to turn it into something spectacular. Which is all the more difficult since my last sermon was, by all accounts (including my own) one of the best sermons I've ever written. Sigh...I had to come down from that high eventually, I suppose, it's just hard to come off it from one sermon to the next!

    have cake! pray! write! (hey, I think there's a book title in there somewhere...)

  66. For anyone up in the middle of the night looking for a Haiti-related children's sermon, I just posted mine on my blog, Beyond Cotton Ball Sheep, which should be linked at my name above.

  67. YUM I'll take some of that cake Teri! thanks!

    Anybody who wants a slightly different treat, please help me finish off the eggnog. It needs to go. NOW.

    Back to work...I promise...

  68. Wow, I've done a really tremendous job of procrasitinating today (baksetball game AND swimming iwth the kid, lots of cleaning projects, reading a stilly novel and even hanging some pictures that have been taken down in the remodel!), but it's time to look at what I got.

    I know you're sleeping, but I"m grateful for the direction you took us here. the info coming fro Haiti feels so overwhelming, I've been having a hard time finding a thread of good news. These comments have been very helpful. I wish i didnt have to re-write my sermon -- which turned into a "where are you God? we have no idea, so we better get to work ourselves" kind of thing. But I think I do. So I'm doing the scary thing of starting over at 8:30 pm on a Saturday night. Eeek. But I can do it, right?

    I have a childrens time, which is MLK talking about I have a Dream and then "what is God's dream for us?" But LIddy, I"m going to look at yours to see if that would be better...

    So very very very very very grateful for you all tonight.

  69. Finally finished here -- well until I decide to edit it all to bits first thing tomorrow morning.
    Spent most of the day banging my head against a wall trying to get too many things going on in the sermon to fit together. Finally stepped away from it about an hour ago and picked up a book I was reading. About 10 pages in, there it was! Why does the Holy Spirit sometimes insist on waiting until the last possible minute to help a sister out!
    Prayers and blessings for the rest of the late night crew!

  70. Sherev, have you tried the snowball game?
    I find it fun!

  71. Oh geez - - no. I am horribly addicted to dominoes. I try to say I'll just play one round of a 13 round game, and next thing I know I'm on 7 or 8. Not good. Not good at all.

    Need to find my way to start this sermon, and I think it will then write itself. I know where I want to go from there. Just need to find my way to start, and that's just not coming.

  72. Eh -- got a decent start and an ouline of where I want to go. Calling it a night and will be back in a few hours. I'm hopeful that my fairly reliable visit from the HS will be forth-coming when I get to bed. That's what usually happens when I'm struggling with a section. I lay down and my head just won't fall asleep until the inspiration comes. I've got something to start me, but it's pretty bleh. Come on, Sister, I'll meet you downstairs!

  73. Juniper, 1-4, hope your work is coming along...
    She Rev, glad you're to a point of sleeping.

    I just finished! but it's a bit too long. Not sure where I am going to cut though...

    Maybe I'll take a shower and then see if I can find anywhere to trim those words down...

  74. Okay, I'm calling it a night. May the HS be with everyone still working!

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

  75. You guys rock. Thanks to Margaret, I even have help editing. It's so helpful when we do this together and pool our combined wisdom.
    Off to walk that dog now. blessings on you all whatever part you play in worship this morning and whatever grace you bring to bear on our broken world.

  76. Back up and at 'em. I have more words still to type than average, but I probably have more of a clue than average, too. I think all will be good for the morning. We'll see soon.

  77. She Rev, you amaze me!
    I've got coffee on this morning for the revisers and last minute adjusters.

  78. thanks for the morning coffee songbird!

  79. You're welcome!
    I have finished tweaking my text (including the version on my blog), and it's printing. I like that sound.

  80. Please don't encourage me, Songbird. :) This work habit has got to change.

  81. She Rev & Songbird... I absolutely hear you about these workhabits. I want so much for them to be different, but for this morning, i have what I have.


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.