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Saturday, January 02, 2010

The 11th Hour Preacher's Party: New Year Choices




Photo from the collection of Mompriest, taken by Mr. Mompriest



As we begin a new year we find our selves with choices this Sunday: are you going with Christmas II, a rare occurance in the short season of Christmas? OR are you transferring in Epiphany and going with the Magi?

Are you compelled to reflect on Jeremiah's call from tragedy to hope? Or does Sirach's "resting place" speak to you? What about Wisdom on the tongue of infants? Perhaps you are drawn to Ephesians and what we learn about being the Body of Christ from this Pauline letter. And, lastly, if you are going with Christmas II - the beautiful words that open the Gospel of John may call out your poetic self. If you are celebrating Christmas II, where are your thoughts taking you?

And, if you are going with Epiphany, what new light are you shining on the story of the Magi and the Christ child?

Grab a cup of coffee, pull up a chair, and join the party - guaranteed to be a day full of ideas, support, feedback, and companionship...It's the best place to be on a Saturday!

93 comments:

  1. Happy New Year everyone!
    It's beautifully sunny but below freezing here. Tomorrow I will be talking about the magi and shepherds showing up to see Jesus. We will then think about how we are going to show up for God in the coming year.
    Racing out now to a special lunch to celebrate our retired priest's and his wife 50th wedding anniversary.

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  2. I'm going with Epiphany, in part because the realization that I could choose between the two came to me on Tuesday as I looked at the RGBP post (duh!) and in part because we do our Epiphany communion, so it keeps it all aligned.

    I've got a start on my sermon, which you can check out here, and I would LOVE any comments or feedback.

    After reading the commentary in Feasting on the Word, I thought the congregation could really get into looking at the magi in a different light, so hopefully I'm intuitively right about that.

    I still need to bring it home with a link to today and an application for folks, which I want to suggest is that the wise men saw the potential in the star, and we can see the potential in each other and ourselves to let our light shine in the ways we're called to do so. Hopefully it won't be too big of a leap...

    Oh, and I will soon have coffee to share (hubs is resident coffee maker in the house in the mornings, so he's putting some on right now!)

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  3. Hey, y'all!
    I'm at St. Casserole's, with half a sermon and not much motivation to do anything but chat with St. C and Mr. C. I'll check in later!

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  4. I have fresh coffee and those Grands Cinnamon rolls. You'd be doing a favor as hubby will not eat them all and I wish not to eat ANY of them...

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  5. oh, and I am hoping to hear a sermon on the John. Fingers crossed!

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  6. Happy New Year to the preacher's party. I have coffee, but not anything else to offer.
    I'll be going with the John passage for Christmas 2B. I have company this morning, Bob's sister and brother in law. They stopped on their way back from Maryland to Texas. So I'll be hosting them until they leave, then I can get back to sermon writing and hope to be ready for tomorrow. Hope everyone else is well.

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  7. Good Morning preacher partyers! As usual when I host I'm up after the party begins because I live in a western time zone...although I was awake at 4am my time...but refused to get out of bed.

    Welcome glorious things.

    Sarah, I'll be over to read your sermon just as soon as I get some coffee in me and my brain works.

    Songbird, give St. C a big hug and hello from all of us.

    Mary Beth, I hope you have some takers for those delicious cinnamon rolls and that the sermon you hear tomorrow is inspiring.

    revabi - enjoy your company, and hope the sermon writing comes easy after they leave.

    me? I'm taking down Christmas decorations today and hosting the party. Coffee is brewed, who wants a cup?

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  8. The Episcopal version of the RCL allows for Luke 2:41-52 this week (which I guess the 'regular' RCL had last week?) I preached on John on Christmas Day so I'm just as glad not to have that again right away.

    I love this story about Jesus getting away from his parents ... it's so real and human. Not sure exactly where I'm going with it yet, but something along the lines of it highlighting Jesus' humanity as a way to make him more "real" to us in our humanity. We'll see where that goes....hopefully not down a blind alley!

    We're having an Epiphany celebration Wednesday evening. Not preaching but I'll read the Magi part of the Christmas story from the Tomie DePaola book I used on Christmas Eve, and we'll put the Magi in the creche, and have a special "chalk blesssing" which no one in my new church has heard of yet, so it should be fun. And we'll have a "King's Cake." I love celebrating Epiphany as a way to finish up Christmas.

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  9. Happy New Year, all! I live in the land of the Rose Parade, and I would far rather extend the party spirit than work today.

    I'm preaching at the family service. All of the possible gospels for Christmas 2 involve journeys: wise men, holy family to Egypt and then Nazareth, holy family to the temple in Jerusalem. I'm using the flight to Egypt, but I got some rough distances on most of those. I have 5 step counters, and random people will be given those when they come into church. At sermon time, we'll see how many steps they've gone, have them check how many steps it is around the inside of the church...and translate that to the steps to Egypt, Nazareth, etc. Talk about the long journeys--both physical (gasp! dare I mention missionaries in an Episcopal church?) and spiritual to which God may call us. And so on. It's the "and so on" that needs work!

    There is a box of See's candy on the counter that you all would do me a favor by eating :-)

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  10. RevDrMom - welcome to the party!I'd go with the Luke story too, it's a good one...Actually, we'd probably have an Epiphany play by the children...and miss this reading all together.

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  11. I'm taking option 3 and going back to Christmas 1 since we did Lessons & Carols last week. I love that teen-Jesus story and have never preached it, although my favorite sermon of all time is on that Scripture. Here it is. #2 in that index. I was at the conference when it was preached.

    Anyway, my task is trying to keep myself from preaching this guy's sermon when all I really want to do is play them the recording since it's exactly what I want to say.

    I got about a third of the sermon written on Thursday (I know, impossible to believe), so hopefully I can work a little more during naptime so I can watch football at night. My guess is that I will follow this guy's moves. I've listened to it so many times in the last 5 1/2 years I don't know how I can stop myself even if I try. However, the words will be mine as best as I can. It's so imprinted in my brain I don't know how to avoid it even if I'm not try to!

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  12. BTW, if you Google "chalk blessing" you will come up with a number of links explaining the tradition and giving prayers that can be used. I usually bless the chalk as part of the service, then mark one of the church doors afterward and give out the chalk and a printed prayer to be used at home.

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  13. Welcome Betsy and She-Rev, glad to have you at the party!

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  14. a P.S., real life lost kid story: on Thursday night, we joined clergy friends at a party at the home along the staging route for the Rose Parade floats. Around 10 PM, we all headed out to see the floats as they came rolling in. After a bit, I realized younger son, 11.5 y.o., was nowhere to be found among the many hundreds (thousands?) of people. Didn't panic at first, but my anxiety rose as we located various other members of our group, called older son, ran into a few other people we knew...still no son and no way to reach him, and he didn't know the address of our hosts. Maybe 30 minutes later, he came trotting up to us, perfectly calm. When I told him, in relief and frustration, how worried I'd been, he was puzzled, and simply said, "I was fine, Mom. I was with [our rector]! I was just looking at the floats."

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  15. Betsy, oh my, what a story...glad all was well.

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  16. SheRev, thanks for posting the sermon link--what a great sermon!

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  17. I have my coffee and SportsQueen wants to see her bf who lives 2 hrs away. So the laptop is packed up and the gps is ready for geocaching. So, the theory is I can geocache going or coming home and work on a sermon while there. I hope that actually works. The text for me this week is Matt 2, Epiphany.

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  18. Chalk blessing! Yes! I had forgotten this but last year thought it was a great idea to incorporate. It's still early enough in the day to get chalk! Yes! I'm so excited!

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  19. Hi Vicar, welcome to the party - safe travels, happy writing and may you have luck geocaching...

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  20. having survived the christmas blizzard... but having no worship on dec 24, 25 or dec 27... finally this week worship returns! we are doing our christmas service this sunday... the 10th day of christmas!

    oh mompriest... taking down the tree? bummer! i just redecorated an entire tree yesterday since 1/2 the lights blew... *sigh*

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  21. I have 2 sermons to preach on Sunday at 2 different churches--one Christmas II and the other Epiphany. I have the Christmas II done. I guess I am going to do something on the wiseguys, but I haven't figured out what. I think there is something about following the Light or something.

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  22. I'm doing Christmas 2...having just returned from vacation early this morning (late last night?), and with a cold no less, I'm not very motivated to write about john...but I probably wouldn't be motivated to write about anything. LOL. I haven't given the sermon even the smallest thought during the week I've been gone, which is not good, but was SO good while I was on vacation!
    I have no food in my house, no kleenex either...so at some point I'll have to go to the store. Maybe I can buy a sermon there too?

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  23. welcome HC - glad you finally get to celebrate Christmas with your faith community.

    Muthah, welcome to you too! Hope you get both those sermons ready without getting lost by going in two directions...

    Teri - welcome home, welcome to the party...I think you find sermons in aisle 5...hope your cold is on the mild side...

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  24. Magi for us. We'll be doing a series of mini-reflections on the gifts and then finishing with a reflection on what gifts we bring, instead of one larger sermon slot.
    Will be dressing up the communion table with a very nice rich 'exotic' cloth and placing the gifts on it.

    I have been 'improvising' myrrh [sand, very cheap hand cream and red paint all mixed and now displayed in a glass jar] and now am admiring a red-stained right hand and hoping it really will come out in the wash before worship arrives. And thinking a little of Lady Macbeth *grins*

    Here's a thing: I also discovered that the 60's are like, really over, man. You think I could find incense today in my travels through the blizzards? Nope. So an oil burner will have to do. Was so hoping to use a rather tall clear glass jar and have it sit on the table - bottled smoke - would have looked cooool. Times like this I could do with being a high Piskie!
    The gold is sorted - I robbed Fort Knox... ;)

    I have chocolate muffins, a selection of yumtastic biscuits [wot some of you would think of as cookies] and the coffee is on the go - help yourselves.

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  25. I have a draft at my sermon blog here

    SheRev, thanks again. Gerald Blount's sermon was just what I needed to pull my thoughts together. We have a baptism tomorrow, and I think it works for that.

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  26. Nik, love your ideas - hope all goes well. Here in the desert SW of the US incense can be found at the local mall or via a number of church supply mail sources...none of which could get you incense for tomorrow. sigh.

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  27. Darn, Nik...I have both frankincense and myrrh; I wish there was a way to airlift them to you! You are a brave woman for improvising, and I hope the hand washes clean in due time.

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  28. I so want to be done with sermon-writing today. I went to our food bank for our volunteer day and we had so many volunteers that I left and have 1/2 of the sermon done. Now to get my thoughts focused and written.
    If I can just get my head together, this should be easy to preach. Mt 2 seekers and givers, or something like that.
    I just made some more coffee and have way too much chocolate in the house but can't write w/o it.

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  29. Hi Nancy - welcome...when I have days like yours, needing to focus me mind around a sermon, I sometimes find that a walk helps...but of course chocolate is always necessary.

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  30. I'm working on Epiphany and tying it with Ephesians 1:3-14. So the journey does not end with the wise men and we are called to continue it with life experience and scripture and God's guidance as our tools. Any ideas, getting stuck at some points

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  31. Hi all..
    Coming a little late to the party, but have been shoveling snow, and working on some dog training with the foster dog...all of which feels more appealing than writing!
    I will be "meditating" on Epiphany as a segway between three baptisms and our monthly communion service. My title is "The Reach of Grace" but other than that I got nothing. And nothing in my pantry except...hmmm...beer. and wine. That will have to wait til later. Mary Beth? Do you still have cinnamon rolls? Mompriest, I know you always have the tea kettle on...I am coming over!!!

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  32. Regina, good ideas..I hope the sermon flows forth

    Karla, welcome...indeed the kettle is on!

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  33. I'm going with the magi as well. RevDrMom - we've done the chalk blessing every year since I arrived at my present church - but I've never sent folks home with their own chalk and prayer for home - what a great idea!!!!

    If it weren't so darn cold out today, I would go and pick up the chalk today. I can run into the bargain store in the morning (as much as I dislike Sunday shopping) - thanks for a GREAT idea and a good way to involve the children. I'll get them to hand out the chalk and prayers to the congregation.

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  34. We did chalk blessing and distributing with instructions for everyone to take home last year and it was a huge hit. This year, we're having an Epiphany party--"Celebrate like a king!"--and will do it there.

    How could I have forgotten that I have loads of homemade chili, wild rice soup, and turkey soup in the fridge? The chili might go well with some of that beer, revkjarla :-) So if it's cold where you are, come enjoy mid-70's and comfort food to nourish your body and soul!

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  35. Somehow I've missed the connection to chalk and prayers? but seems like a lot of folks love it...

    Hey, Sue, welcome! Betsy, chili - yum!

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  36. Blessing houses at Epiphany is in the Orthodox tradition, often inscribing the year and initials of the 3 wise men in chalk at the top of the doorframe, chalk that has been blessed by the priest. It is a really neat custom with a lot of meaning behind it.

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  37. I just googled "chalk + prayer" and there it was. I'll adapt the language a bit, but it will work.

    We start each new year with a blessing upon our church by writing the letters CMB (the Magi) and the new year above the main entrance. The children love looking around the church for someone tall enough to reach the wood frame above the door. Then we say a prayer together asking God's blessing upon our church family.

    I found this quote last month, and I may use it as the launching point for the sermon.

    David Starr Jordan says, “Wisdom is knowing what to do next; Skill is knowing how to do it, and Virtue is doing it.”

    The Magi had all three, Wisdom to go home by another way, the Skill to follow the stars that would take them in a new direction, and the virtue to do the right thing and follow through with their plan.

    Sounds like a great challenge for a church in a process of change.

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  38. Betsy... really the 70's... i'll be right. there! it is zero here and snowing AGAIN... brrr! you would think that would get me in the christmas spirit to fine tune for worship...

    being snowed in has turned my brain to mush. off to walk the dog... perhaps the chill will shake something loose!

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  39. Sue, ok, I'll google it...and thanks for that quote - it's wonderful.

    HC - stop by my place on your way to Betsy's, it's 70's here too...we'll walk the dogs.

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  40. umm, according to the bulletin (which I made three weeks ago), my sermon title is "living it up"....and I have no idea why. what was I thinking? hmmm....

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  41. Thank you so much to those who stopped by my blog to comment on the sermon seeds that are there! Now I've got to hunker down and pull this thing together.

    Betsy, I can't tell you how jealous I am that you have See's candies at the ready! My husband's grandmother usually sends us a box each Christmas since she's in California, but they have not yet appeared this year and I am definitely missing them. Will have to cave and order my own if they are not going to be making it to Pennsylvania at all this year.

    Blessings to everyone as you write! I have a fresh pot of decaf about ready to serve (still nursing, sorry for no high-test to offer) and some M&Ms that a parishioner hid in the bottom of a gift bag containing other more "religious" gifts.

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  42. Hi all! I'm preaching tomorrow and the sermon is exactly where it was 3 weeks ago when I chose text, title (Eureka) and theme - recognizing God for who God is, in the time of the magi and now. Which means I have nothing on paper. I too read Feasting on the Word, and BBT advised that if I was going (okay whoever was going) to take this particular track needed to stay out of the books and spend more time in prayer. So, here I am with my cup of tea, settling in for some meditative time. I'll check back in later and bring some virtual treats along.

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  43. Teri, "Living It Up"....were you going with the Magi or John? Maybe this is why I never title my sermons until after they are written - and thankfully our bulletins and tradition don't require titles ahead of time....sigh..

    at least its the new year - that might give some meaning to living it up...?

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  44. MP, apparently "living it up" went with John...maybe I was thinking about the cover art, which says "Live as children of the light"??? life...light of all people...live in the light...

    umm, yeah. I got nothin'. I think I'll have to make something up and pretend the title made sense. sigh.

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  45. Back from spending a couple of days with "Santa". Always good. Going with the Magi, or as Nathan Nettleton calls them "eastern mystics".

    Title: Home by Another Way

    Asking the church what it would look like for them to "go home a different way". Using an example from Tribal Church (Carol Merritt) about the unwritten rules every church carries with them.

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  46. It's the kid in the temple for me tomorrow. I'm anxious to read the two posted sermons and compare notes. I'm going with the humanity of Jesus, I think.
    My brother-in-law just left (along with his wife, my sister) so there aren't any leftovers in my house. But there See's candy (dark chocolate, of course) and King Leo crunchy patties (orange or peppermint) and gingerbread men and Dove dark chocolates, too. So *please* stop by and eat them all!

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  47. Mid-life welcome! and Purple too!!

    Teri - ahh, well, the bulletin cover would lead to something like that....and maybe it will be the fruit of the spirit after all?

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  48. ...and Margaret, welcome to you too...and thanks for bringing more chocolate!

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  49. I think I've pulled it off. If you want to see, it's here

    Can I just tell you that my word verification is "licker"? Tee hee.

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  50. Sermon done, nothing particularly original, ah well, I have been lazy all week. Must not make this a habit, he he.
    best to all late writers. I haven't blogged in a bit. If nothing on TV, maybe i'll add a few words for New Year.
    Finished the coffee, have lots of leftovers, did everyone get their black eyed peas yesterday? I have a bunch still.

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  51. Betsy~~break out the chili! I have lots of variety of brews to go along with it, including Pumking ale, some Dogfish, stout, and delicious HomeBrew from my colleague who is really a pro. And for you who like a little wine with your dinner--I've got organic white something. Also, I just whipped up some blackened shrimp scampi on fetuccini (no linguini in the pantry) in a light garlic-olive oil-vermouth sauce with freshly grated parmesan cheese.

    We would love the company, so come on over!

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  52. I am asking Why Pay Homage? as my sermon question. One of the images that has largely (IMO) gotten lost within the mainstream is that of bowing down before/paying homage to God. And I think this is not to our benefit.

    ANd it is communion so shorter is good. So a discussion of why it is hard imagery for many and then why it may be helpful should suffice.

    FOr Children's Time I'll tell the story of the Magi's visit and then we well sing about the 3 "kings", that is my passing touch on Epiphany

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  53. At least I hope that will be enough. SInce this moring we did the laundry then went grocery shopping and this afternoon I made a 2 hour funeral visit (for one of the charter members of the congregation) and then watched (supposedly with the girls but none of them stayed in the room) Half-Blood PRince.

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  54. ohhhh karla, I am heading right over, I'll have a glass of that organic white with some of that shrimp.....

    Hey, Gord, welcome!! We watched Half Blood Prince Christmas night...I appreciate it more now that I know how the series ends...

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  55. Okay,now we've had two deaths during the week that I'm apparently on call for pastoral care - although no one bothered to mention it to me until the first death. I'm not on staff at the church anymore. People tend to forget that.

    Sermon outline done. Need to type and practice. Probably early a.m. Time with family now. I will share some of my Honey BBQ Wings with you if you would like.

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  56. okay, so since I can't seem to talk without coughing, I put together a "sermon" (more a collection of extremely brief meditations) that can be read by 2 voices. It's more in the vein of poetry/meditative reading than sermon, but since I don't know who will read it, it can't be too much in my voice. Who knows if I'll be able to pull this off, of course, since it's TOMORROW. but we'll see.

    thoughts?

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  57. Good luck. I think it is a great plan. There is nothing worse than having to preach and not being able to "not cough" then whole time.
    Also, keep water with a lemon handy and some cough drops.
    Sorry you are going through this, but nice to know I am not the only one who has these spells

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  58. Revkjarla, your dinner sounds amazing! Though hubs made yummy fajitas with cheesy chips, I would still have some of what you're having :)

    I also made <a href="http://savorysweetlife.com/2009/05/would-you-like-smore-smores-recipe/<these></a> after dinner in the broiler, and they are so yummy! I could totally gorge myself till I pop, but since I probably shouldn't do that, I'm more than willing to share.

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  59. Oops, I'm still learning about putting these links in.

    Here is the link to the smores cookies.

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  60. I just found a chalk/house blessing that is more suited to my setting, maybe it'll help you, too.

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  61. OK,
    Beloved and I are watching Half Blood Prince again. Where the H@@@ did they come up with that scene at christmas which ends with the burning of the Burrow????

    ANd while I agree that all the pensieve ssequences make poor movie scenes we are losing a bunch of the story...

    I do love the Ron/HErmione/LAvender triangle though

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  62. Hey, y'all!
    I am posting a draft here. Still waiting for my suitcase...and my robe and stole...and my shoes...etc.

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  63. Songbird....STILLLLLL WAITING...oh my. that is just so wrong. sorry.

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  64. Rev Dr Mom - - Thanks for the Kings' Cake idea. I've usually had it for Mardi Gras, but will definitely make one for our small gathering that worships on Wednesday nights. I'm encouraging more to show up this week. Maybe the promise of cake will help. Also, glad the sermon helped. I've been thinking about the baptismal connections today, too, since we actually have a baptism next week. I almost feel like I should save my "punchline" for then, but I don't think I will. This is the second year in a row we've had a baptism on Baptism of the Lord Sunday, so I'll tie the two together again. I did in the January newsletter anyway, so I should continue the connections, but that is next week.

    Teri - - Sorry you're not feeling well. That totally sucks while preaching! I have, however, discovered that no one objects to a speedy departure after worship when I feel that way! Hope you get to head back home and too bed! Also, I think your 2 voices idea is perfect. Do you have folks you can tap at the very last minute? If not, are the folks you can call? I know I'm way behind in the reading, so maybe I should keep reading down the comments and see if you updated. I'll be quiet now.

    As for me: It's 8:40 p.m. and I finished my bowl of ice cream (because even at something like -15 degrees, it's never too cold for ice cream - - besides, I needed to get my dairy quota in for the day and I'm almost out of milk!). I wrote about 1/3 of my sermon on Thursday (unheard of, I know), so hopefully I can head upstairs now that I'm all caught up here and pound out the rest. I have a good chance of getting to bed before midnight and not needing to get up too early if I can stay focused. Luckily I don't care too much about the Alamo Bowl tonight. I also don't know how much more I can listen to the discussion about the Texas Tech coach.

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  65. ...and for those of you still in need of sustanance for writing...fresh, still warm, homemade chocolate chip cookies...any takers?

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  66. yay! i have two voices for the two later services, and one plus me for the first service...and I have bread servers for communion...which means all I have to do is announcements, children's time at the first two services (if children are attending those services this week), the communion prayer, and the sending. maybe I'll be able to keep my germs to myself!

    I found a block of gorgeous white cheddar with cranberries in my fridge--anyone need a night time snack?

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  67. We have leftover bacon, cheese fries that are warming up in the oven and will be served with a side of ranch dressing. Don't even tell me the WW pts for that ....

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  68. Oh Teri, pass the cheese. I have a bottle of wine that was a Christmas present and promises to be very good.
    I have Zaxby's chicken to share. Complete with the zesty/spicy Zaxby Sauce.
    Half my sermon ahs turned into a science lessson on the stars.
    Oh and word verf?
    Wherehi. Which sounds like We're high. Perfect for a post New Years group of clergy

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  69. OK - - all this cheese talk has sent me to the fridge for some gouda. Thanks y'all.

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  70. I love "werehi"!

    SheRev, my theory has always been that if it's that cold, ice cream will warm me up :-)

    Teri, glad you found readers and don't need to worry about that anymore. I got a call a bit ago from our rector; she has been struck by sudden onset intestinal bug. Good news is someone else was scheduled to preach at the early and later services tomorrow, I have the middle one, and it's easy to switch who officiates, so she can stay home w/o worries. 'Tis the season when these nasty things spread like wildfire, so healthy vibes to all of you.

    We are doing math in church tomorrow. I estimate Bethlehem to Cairo to be 200 miles = 400,000 steps. We're going to figure out how many times that would be around the inside of the church. And yes, I'll be bringing a calculator!

    Mompriest, there is never **not** a time or place for warm choc. chip cookies. Perhaps some of you would like to join me in pairing them with the mint chip ice cream in the freezer? Anyone have some Baileys?

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  71. Ok friends...this food fest has made sleepy...I'll leave the cookies out and the tea kettle on...last one up, get the lights! Blessings on your preaching!

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  72. Betsy,
    I love the idea of the steps.

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  73. OK, so I COULD have gone to bed at a decent hour if I had ever opened the sermon document and typed in it. No focus! And that Mich St/Texas Tech game is way more interesting than I thought it would be!

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  74. The Entertainer is working out the notes & rhythms of "Linus and Lucy" on the keyboard she got for Christmas. She has more skill than she realizes.

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  75. Sadly, Mich St/Tx Tech has captured me as well

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  76. I'm thinking about hitting save (for the 2 notes I've typed since I came up here a couple of hours ago), going to bed to watch the end of the football game, and getting up at 4 to finish writing. I only have 2/3s left to do, and an outline to go on. Not bad compared to many nights. That sounds like my best plan, I think.

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  77. I'm still watching the game and working on the sermon but looks like I'm the only one left here.

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  78. I haven't left yet, but think I will after this play. I like my watch the rest of the game in bed plan. I'll be back in a few hours.

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  79. Well, the sermon is done. The prayers still need to be done but that won't take long. However, I won't move to the other computer to finish up until the game is done.

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  80. That touchdown might have done it!

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  81. SheRev, I think you're right about that touchdown

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  82. I'm back and hoping for some focus and a nice finish. Here it goes!

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  83. 1,614 and I'm ready to wrap this one up. Great timing! Yipee!

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  84. Ahh well, 2056 in the end. Even on a communion Sunday. At least there's no choir this week, so I've got a few extra minutes there. And I have about 200 words at the front end that I can cut in the moment if I need to. Either way, it's done, and I like it, and I can go take a shower!

    Blessings on your all in all your various places!

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  85. well, service all done and dusted - the gifts and mini-reflections worked well... my hand less red now, more pink-tinged, lol!!

    Okay, here's a question I've been meaning to ask y'all: the word counts - I'm suspecting it's a rough timing for sermon length, yes? I tend to go with a formula of x number of pages on an 18 pt ariel font, but if there are other ways, do teach me, O wise mentors :)

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  86. Nik - - I was always a page counter, too, until I started hanging around here more often. I try to keep it to 10 pages at 16 pt Times New Roman double spaced (9 is good on communion weeks, and I've been known on wordier days to hit the 12th page), but when I mentioned page count it didn't seem to translate well to others.

    I tend to have a higher word count that most around here, I've noticed. My sermons tend to be in the 15-18 minute range. I have a feeling I preach a little longer and possibly also speak a little faster than many!

    My word/page count has come down a little since I started preaching weekly two years ago. I think I found my writing rhythm and don't feel anymore that this is my one shot to get it all in like I did when I was an associate pastor and knew it could be 4-8 weeks before I was preaching again, depending on the schedule. I think I'm more effective in less words (compared to my previous sermons).

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  87. Nik, when I worked for St Homeostasis I preached short sermons spoken slowly - so my word count went way down....from 1500 to 1000. Now I aim to keep it to around 1200 or slightly less. Of course I work in a denomination that has communion every Sunday and for congregations that want to be in and out in under 60 minutes...

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  88. For many, 100 words=1 minute. A word count is a common denominator instead of translating font type and point and spacing.

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  89. Sent folks home with chalk and prayers for house blessing (+20CMB10+ or +2010+). Now the Entertainer is marking all of the doors *inside* the house :)

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  90. Ahh, thanks folks! So being a 15min gal, I'd be aiming for 1 500... roughly. Shall go and count some of my sermons to see if this works out. Cool :D
    Have I ever said that I love being a part of this online community? No? Well then... I do! Thanks for your gifts and wisdom.

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  91. Nik, Most word processors have word counts. In the newest (newer?) MSWord the word count in in the bottom status bar.

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  92. hehehe, thanks Vicar... I know about that wee word count bar - for uni. papers it was a God-send! And having gone and checked a couple of my sermons I seem to range between 1 300 - 1 700 words. Well now, this has been educational! Ta folks. :)

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