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Saturday, February 06, 2010

11th Hour Preacher Party: In Deep Water Edition

Good morning, gals and pals! In pondering the texts for this week, Peter casting his net into the deep water and catching a ridiculous abundance of fish is the image that sticks in my mind. For in the variety of texts, there is an embarrassment of riches. From Isaiah's vision in the temple, to Peter teaching from Simon's fishing boat, from Paul's recitation of the basics of the faith; from the coals burning Isaiah's lips to the Simon's fishing nets tearing under the weight of so many fish -- well, we're definitely in deep water. (or maybe we're feeling like our sermon smells like some slightly old fish!) You'll find a great discussion of the texts here.

I have oatmeal with raisins this morning, fair trade coffee and Good Earth tea. I have cleared a little space on our dining room table, a place where there aren't books and papers already, and even put some colorful placemats and napkins out (what color do you think?) And you know what? This particular table miracululously gets bigger every time someone sits down.

So, I hope you'll join us, for a little while, or for the day. Let us help you as you cast your net into the deep water. If you nets are breaking, we'll come and help you.


  1. Good morning! Love the picture of the fishermen, Diane.

    I'm up and at 'em. Well, actually I'm just up. Hope to be "at 'em" soon. Going to sit with some coffee and knitting a bit more for awhile.

    I'm preaching Luke, and my title is "Lord of the Broken Nets." I'm focusing on how in following Jesus means more abundance than we can imagine - our nets (our old expectations, old structures, old ways) strain and begin to break b/c they can't hold all that he offers. I'm going to be preaching this to the life of the congregation, as opposed to merely individual application, and will spend some time, too, on the notion of "catching" people - even though the whole evangelism notion is uncomfortable for a lot of my people.

    Those are my early morning thoughts. I'm excited about preaching this text, and about partying with y'all today!

  2. Welcome, earthchick! sounds great! I love your title. I'm looking at the broken nets and the sunken boats, and using the title, "How Jesus Wrecks our Life." I had hoped to have it all written by now, but not. I think that some of what I'm thinking is similar to you....

    I had an illustration, but now am not sure about whether to use it. Has to do with the seminarian who was killed in Haiti, and the call that he heard -- not the call to be a pastor, but the call to do justice, to love mercy....

    anyway, glad you are here!

  3. Earthchick and Diane, I love the broken nets image. I will have to explore that some day. It doesn't appear that we will have church. We've got about a foot in the church neighborhood and no plow. It's still snowing and 5-8" more are expected. Plus winds. I sent out an alternative worship by email for those stuck at home. It's here. I hope it helps people worship tomorrow when they are digging out. Maybe I should look at next week's texts... I'll be visiting here tho, what's a saturday without the preacher party? If you two post your sermons, let me know.

  4. I'm here, too, wondering if I'll even have services tomorrow because of this whole "snowpocalypse" that has buried us in Central PA. But I want to have it ready in case we do get shoveled out in time, and if we don't, I will be using it next week!

    I want to survey the Old Testament lesson, Epistle, and Gospel and look at the call stories embodied in each text. Also the way that each story involves some proclamation of "oh no, God, I can't do it! couldn't be me!" and the way that God still used each situation to do God's work in the world. I have some good quotes from the folks at that I'd like to include, or at least allow to influence the sermon. This week's podcast was excellent, IMO.

    Looking forward to the party today, since I'm not going anywhere!

  5. well, it's supposed to be my first Sunday in my first pulpit and texts from call stories, and I don't know if we'll be able to get to church. but I'm working on the whole the ineffable God of the universe calls fallible creatures to do God's work on earth angle, the title: Even Me.

  6. My sermon title is "Why ME?" and will look at the reluctance to answer (and willingness to find excuses) when the call comes. Suddenly I had a "Wayne's WOrld" flashback and pictured JEremiah, Isaih and PEter falling to their knees and calling out "We're not worthy!"

    hmmmmmm, maybe I should sleep a bit more--I don't even like Mike Myers

  7. Sistahs and Brothahs,
    I am having a baptism (hopefully) and I write a letter to the child being baptized, so I won't be using the wonderful call of Isaiah, a reading I used at my ordination almost 30 years ago.

    I pray for you folks that have been dumped on with snow in the Mid-Atlantic area. Nancy, I love the idea of an alternative service to send to parishioners! But my die hards (none with computers, mind you!) would be in church no matter how many inches they got! I have a 40 mile commute. The hardy Germans and Scandinavians wouldn't let 2 ft. of snow stop them!

    Diane, thanks for a place at the breakfast table. The coffee is wonderful!

  8. Found an interesting thought through a link on The Text This Week on Facebook:
    "What If I Don't Like Fishing?"
    by Dr. Jeff Stiggins

    What if Jesus never intended fishing to become our main metaphor for evangelism? What if Jesus was only inviting Simon and Andrew to be “fishers of men” because that’s who they were — fishermen? Think about it. If Simon and Andrew had been carpenters, would Jesus have invited them to be “fishers of men” or might he have invited them to follow him and learn how to be “builders of the God Kingdom?” If they had been physicians, mightn’t Jesus have invited them to follow him and learn how to be “healers of people’s souls?” Or if they had been weavers, mightn’t Jesus have invited them to follow him and learn how to “weave people into God’s community of love?” Or if they had been mechanics, mightn’t he have invited them to follow him and learn how to “repair broken lives?”

  9. My offering on the Luke 5:1-11 text is here.

    Comments and critiques are welcome... because it's tough writing sermons for congregations you don't know. If the sermon needs to be fixed... I wanna know.

  10. welcome, everyone! I'm back from Bible study and back to work on the sermon now. Praying for all to stay safe in the midst of all that snow. Gord, Love the "We're not worthy!" image. gotta file that one away.

    And the "what if I don't like fishing?" idea -- that God uses the language that will help us to "get it" -- I love that too. Beach Walkin', I'll be over in a little while, but I think I need to write a little more before I visit.

    Have a cup of tea anyone?

  11. Good morning, RevGals! (and RevBoys!) I'm about to sit down with a cup of tea and some yummy natural peanut butter...come on by, there's plenty...

    Very cool to see the link to Jeff Stiggins--he was my district superintendent here in Orlando a few years back. Thanks, Queen Mum! I appreciate the questions Jeff offers, and your passing them along.

    After tea & peanut butter I'm hitting the studio, finishing a collage for next Sunday's gospel lection, then plotting a trip to a café to work on the accompanying reflection. For this Sunday I pondered the Luke passage. It's at The Painted Prayerbook. Come on over and sit a spell, I'll pour you some tea...

    Blessings to all, especially those facing the snowpocalypse.

  12. Good morning all! Baked eggs with cheese to share here--with or without yolks to personal preference.

    Plenty of teaching work today--did some this morning and am giving myself a little break before getting back to it.

    Hadn't looked at the readings as I am not preaching this week but am intrigued by the call theme as I have started praying pretty intensely whether to renew my by the semester college teaching position for fall (assuming they want to renew me). It has been good to be back into the classroom but the price of keeping my priesthood in the closet at this Roman Catholic school is starting to kill my spirit. Discernment never seems to stop, does it?

    Prayers for everyone's work and prayer today.

  13. Well, I hope we have church! I was up at 6 helping ds move cars around so he could leave extra early for the LSAT, which was canceled two hours later, half an hour before it was to start. He said the only people milling around the empty tundra of the university were dozens of LSAT takers with no. 2 pencils in hand, most of whom had driven long distances through the snow.

    Anyway, I am supposed to preach for the first time at my field ed church tomorrow. The first time I was supposed to preach there for the first time was Jan 3, during the meltdown of our vacation in Florida with dh's hospitalization. So I can't say I'd be surprised if church were canceled tomorrow, but the snow does seem to have stopped here.

    I'm focusing on Luke with a little Isaiah thrown in: Jesus' call is always known by his abundant gifts, and he interrupts us to invite us to offer the same.

    I have huge marshmellows for the hot chocolate needed by all snow-shovellers.

  14. Welcome, Jan, Sophia, and GG! Hope you get to preach, GG. Thanks for the link, Jan. and Sophia, prayers for you in discernment for your new semester.

  15. Mid Oklahoma is just finally recovering from our deep-ice week. Most folk have electricity back.
    I too thought of Wayne's World --Not worthy not worthy --but know only one of the folk who would connect with that...
    Love the image of language...and fisher/weavers/physician/ etc. That's most helpful.
    After a restless night am swearing off caffeine after 4pm.
    Also trying to figure out my lenten discipline.
    Blessings mmm tea....
    thanks all

  16. Hello Gals and Pals -
    In the middle of a very busy weekend here. Preaching three services (one tonight and two tomorrow) which I don't often do, and so I am a bit nervous. WisePastor the senior pastor is in Florida, the lucky dog, while here it is windy and snowy.
    I got a lot of help on my sermon from sermon brainwave this week, as well as the blogs of Peter (I am listening...) and Sally (Eternal Echoes)...don't quite have time to figure out the html thingee though. Come as you are...leave different is my title, and this quote from William Sloane Coffin encouraged me: "My rock-solid belief is that we are loved by God. He loves us as we are, but too much to leave us that way." Going with the theme of how Isaiah and Peter were called as they were, and made to be what God wanted them to be. God didn't wait to show up until they were ready.
    Blessings to all, unfortunately not much food to share. We're supposed to be at an all day church workshop but the signal to noise ratio was way too low! SO we left. Diane, the words at the end of your post "Let us help you as you cast your net into the deep water. If you nets are breaking, we'll come and help you." were great help at 3 a.m. when I woke up! Thank you!

  17. I've been snoozing on the couch for a while. We had a early morning as we headed out to see a mass hot air balloon launch at 7:30 a.m. that didn't happen. Ugh. The winds were to strong higher up and they were blowing westward - - right toward the larger cities and a major international airport. Not good. We'll try again for the 3:00 p.m. launch.

    The kids and my husband are now outside playing (or working) in the snow. After my little mini-nap it seems like a good time to see if I can shave 700-1000 words off the old sermon I'm recycling for tomorrow. It needs to be a short one since we're ordaining and installing a deacon, have communion, and have music of unknown length.

    I'm just thrilled I have an old one I like to reuse!

    My bigger thing tomorrow is the Adult Education I've been asked to lead "Is Jesus the only way?" I've got 45 minutes and I'm not sure where to go. My thought was to present a few different standard opinions and then just let discussion run. Any thoughts or ideas about how to organize that or electronic resources that might help???

  18. Ugh. I've been sitting here at the computer all this time and still have no opening words! I have all these thoughts floating around in my head, but no way in. I had a social engagement planned for tonight but I'm starting to think I won't be able to make it b/c I don't see how I'll be done.


  19. earthchick, I've got a little over a page, and am just getting to the "wreckage" part. I'm struggling a little, too.

    got a lunch with mom-in-law, and a meeting in the afternoon, so I've got to get cracking.

    ....because I have to preach this at 5:00.

  20. Well, there went that idea. As soon as I opened the document everyone decided to come in from outside. Fantastic.

  21. I like the Wayne's World illustration Gord. I wonder how many in your pews will have seen SNL or the movie though...

    I'm going with the huge catch of fish. Once Jesus encouraged the disciples to go back out and fish again, they had so many fish they could hardly accommodate them all and get them to shore.

    Are we equally afraid to experience such an "embarrassment of riches" (so to speak) in our churches. Do we *really* want to catch and inspire so many people that our church would not be able to hold them all? Because we're in amalgamation talks, it's a very pertinent question for us. Most who attend our little church drive past two or three huge cathedral churches to get to ours. They do it because they enjoy the family atmosphere and the feeling that they are known - not just another nameless church attender.

    My point will be that if we don't want to "catch" people and bring them in - then our clear ministry is to go out and meet God's people where *they* are.

    That - and I need a children's story in the worst way.

  22. MumPastor - that's the exact direction I went with Isaiah in this sermon I'm re-preaching from my last call. I started with the illustration of my sister debating about when to start her family, and the advice she was finally given "You're never going to be ready. No time is ever perfect."

    No time or person is ever perfect, but that's how God calls us then makes us into who God needs us to be.

    However, for time's sake this time around I have to cut that whole intro.

  23. I'm doing something with Luke...but I don't know what. And I have to go to a baby shower this afternoon, so I don't have time to even get started until it's practically dinner time. I have no idea where it's going. sigh. And I have no food in the house either. could be cereal for dinner!

  24. Poptarts anyone? I have been eating oatmeal for b-fast lately, but still cannot break away from the lovely treats of my childhood.
    It is a basketball afternoon here.
    Anybody watching the G-tow/NOVA game? The ref might need a little Just for Men! SRSLY.
    I am trying to combine the Isaiah and Luke texts. Not much luck as of yet. And it is a short day due to communion, so I have a meditation instead of a full sermon.
    This can be a blessing or a curse, less time to fill, less time to say something significant.
    Great pic Diane.
    Good luck

  25. It just occurred to me that one of the reasons that I went with Isaiah is that I just preached on Luke this fall during our stewardship season. It was the first in a series using themed material from Logos. Anyway, here is that sermon, "The Call to the Depths" if anyone cares.

  26. SheRev,
    "Music of Unknown Length"
    Ha, how well I know that one!
    If someone says you are doing to have a "mule" in worship, we will all get it now

  27. the C of E lectionary departs from RCL this week so I have Jesus asleep in the boat during stormy times...Need an all age talk as well as adult sermon.
    Also need TIME...but it seems to be 6.00 pm here...another long night beckons :(
    Just made another pot of tea - and there are Fair Trade choc chip cookies too. Will that help anyone?

  28. This next one goes out especially for Gord!
    We're not worhty!!!
    Enjoy!!! Heh=hee

  29. ok, I'm done, but don't want to post as members of my church might read. Also, feel kind of like the opening story is now unnecessary... (about fishing...) we'll see how it preaches tonight and go from there.

    If I can figure out another place to put the sermon so you all can read it, I will...

  30. Kudos on being done, Diane! That's awesome.

    I finally got an opening and have maybe 1/4 of the sermon written. I had to quit trying to come up with the "perfect" opener and just start writing. Am hoping it will keep flowing so that I might still get to make my engagement tonight.

    I have some yummy Good Earth tea to offer, and a big bowl of clementines.

  31. remember, earthchick, I have to preach at 5:00. five hours before preaching time is ok, but not incredibly early.

    but, I'll take the compliment anyway.

  32. Hello everyone, I'm checking in this afternoon with a bit of a sinus headache and a play I'm supposed to go to this it's good I already have a starting idea. Unfortunately that's all it idea!

    Love what's going on in here so far, and what I'll be doing is not much different...focusing on how we often don't think we have what we need to do God's work, but surprisingly enough, it will be given to us. SO wanted to use Wayne's World, but decided it would miss the mark for many people. Instead I think I'm going to talk about my one-time not-so-enthusiastic fishing experience and how it came out all right because I was given everything I needed (even the fish!).

    I slept late this morning, so now it's time for breakfast. No delicious potluck item this week to share with y'all, sorry!

  33. Love the Wayne's World clip, thanks 1-4, I hope you use it Gord. I don't always find people who get my more contemporary humor. It's really bad if I start to chuckle and am the only one. ah...

  34. The Rev. Wil GafneyFebruary 6, 2010 at 2:57 PM

    I had one sermon in mind for the congregation I can't ski to. I have another in mind for the walk-in St. Snowflake EpiLu congregation convening at the seminary chapel. Now I'm going to focus on death, illness and transition (seminary?) as opportunities to experience God and hear a new/renewed vocation.

  35. welcome to everyone and prayer re: your headache, semfem.

    and all of you experiencing snow, stay safe!

  36. haven't seen a good children's message idea yet.


  37. I was thinking about images I have with fishing with my uncle as a child. I had to be quiet, sit still and not do anything to scare the fish. Then a fish would be caught, with that hook in his mouth my uncle said it didn't hurt the fish but I didn't believe him. I equated this with the fish be pulled in literally fighting to be said free. Reeled in kicking and screamoing. Is that how we want to make disciples for Christ? Not sure if that helps my sermon but its a thought. A random thought.

  38. oh boy.

    I am MILDLY freaking as the kids are leading worship tomorrow. the children in our church are all pretty little, so when I say anything could happen, I really really really mean ANYTHING.

    and I have a gazillion details in my head, and some I'm sure I"ve forgotten.

    so, prayers are appreciated.

    And, you all have a GREAT day. I'm off to the planning session/party/sleepover as we get ready for manana....

  39. Excuse my typos. Must be brain dead.Basically I was tried to compare the fish being pulled in unwillingly with the thought of making disciples for Christ. Do we sometimes focus on numbers instead of seeking to help people to be fed instead of shoving a rusted hook down their throat. Hope it makes sense.

  40. you also might contrast the image of the wide net with a pole.

  41. I decided that I do want feedback. might not come in time for tonight, but I can change in time for tomorrow, maybe.

    here's my wreckage

    let me know what you think.

  42. Kathryn, thanks. you've just explained why Bob Mayo's PArish the thought this week was on a different text from the one I've been studying.
    I've got yummy birthday cake and clootie dumpling here and, thankfully, I'm not preaching tomorrow. Filing away the idea of Jesus using whatever language would help us to "get it" for another time.

  43. "Parish the thought"?

    that's a hoot!

  44. Joining in the party late b/c we had a session future planning retreat this morning and then I got an invite to an elder's house for lunch.

    Great morning and afternoon ... however, i've got 0 words right now. Ack!

    I did sketch out an outline earlier in the week. Hopefully it was good and the flushing out goes smoothly. It's on Luke 5 and the notion of being called together and doing ministry together.

  45. Kathryn,
    I once retold the storm in the boat story, getting the congregation to do the sound effects on their cue - wind, waves and thunder: one third standing up and saying WHOO for the wind, another third stamping their feet for the crashing waves and the remaining third stamping their feet for the thunder an then SILENCE as JEsus says: Be still.
    Any help?

  46. Sorry, thunder cue is clapping hands.

  47. Dancing With God, I hope your outline requires only "fleshing" out and not "flushing" out!

    I actually have a completed draft, which is SO unlike me (as most of you know). Now I need to decide if I'm going to try and make it to the play, or try and relax and get rid of this headache, or head over to church and get it ready for tomorrow. Or some combination of those three.

    The draft is just that, only a draft, so either way I'll be back later to do editing and tweaking and trimming down.

    Diane, I really enjoyed your sermon and it helped me over some of the rough parts of mine!

  48. Semfem, thanks for the feedback!

    Liz, I love the idea for telling the storm story with side effects!

  49. Semfem - oops! typo. Have begun the FLESHING OUT process and so far so good.

    I've got some homemade lasagna with a bonus layer of sauteed mushrooms for dinner. Plenty to go around.

  50. hehehe @ Liz - I did a similar thing: had a group from the congregation with signs [one saying 'splash', 'wind', 'feet' etc] each person to hold up the appropriate sign on my cue as I was telling the story, so the congregation could make the appropriate sounds. Meanwhile, at the front of the church, had all the kids holding a parachute, got them practicing various types of waves and calm seas etc... and in the course of telling the story they were to basically re-create the sea with said parachute. Used a ball to represent the boat, which I threw on at the outset of the story.
    Cheaper than making a film in Hollywood and much more fun :)

  51. Hi Ladies!

    We're a bit ahead of lectionary @ our church so I'm preaching from Luke -- the story of Simon the Pharisee & the women with the alabaster jar meeting Jesus. Am doing a first person narrative dealie -- first the woman, then Simon. I've never done one of these before -- any tips on "performing" it?

    LOVE the idea many of you are working with -- LORD of the Broken Nets. Reminds me of my co-pastor's sermon last week about new wine & old wineskins. He did a prophetic job applying it to the life of our congregation. Here's the link.

    A Drama
    Here's a dramatization of Luke text.
    LOL over Peter's, "Damn these nets!"

  53. Hi, y'all~
    I have been moping around today, missing being part of this community. I'm on next week and I look forward to being with you all day then.
    We don't have a children's time on Communion Sundays, but if I were doing something to go with the gospel, I might repeat a favorite call story, Bert and Ernie going fishing. They end up with a boat full of fish, but use unconventional methods. I've told this and called the fish just like Ernie.
    Blessings to those of you writing tonight.

  54. Just checking in even though I'm not staying. I've cut about 600 words so far, although I need to fit a few more back in to connect some dots a little. I haven't done much in a while since we went to no-nap zone with the kids so that we could head back to the hot air balloons. There was a successful afternoon launch, thankfully, so now we're heading to dinner and hopefully straight to bed after that! Should be back on the early side and hopefully make it a short night for me!

  55. I am SO close to being done but I just can't seem to seal the deal. I have some stuff written that I'm just not sure I should use - might be my riding my own little hobby-horse, I can't tell. If I leave it in, I'm basically done. If I take it out, I have more work to do. Hmmm....

  56. I am in big trouble on this one. I had a relatively good time at the baby shower (brought back chocolate covered strawberries to share!!) but still have 0 words and 0 ideas. sigh.

  57. Hi -- just back fronm the "early edition" tonight. It went okay but needs practicing and I think, maybe, one more sentence. not sure, but I'm pondering that.

    Songbird-- glad you stopped in. we miss you too.

    seems like a lot of us are almost done.

    does anyone need dinner?

    how about Mexican? That's what we're having (I think.)

  58. oh, and Teri -- just got your comment and wanted to say -- we're here for you.

  59. Okay, I cut out the hobby-horse paragraph and finished up. Here is my draft. As usual, I feel like there is some tidying to do but I need to take a break from it for awhile before I try to do that.

  60. so here's the problem I'm having: I'm tired. I need a day off (I mean a whole day, not one where I'm off in the daytime but still have to go to a meeting at night). I may be reaching exhaustion--I feel like my inner resources are depleted. I'm hoping they aren't gone, just very very low. the fuel light is on but there's no gas station in sight, to use a disturbing metaphor. I actually just thought (in words) "I don't even want to GO to church tomorrow."

    But: I will persevere, because it's what we do. I'll write something...and thank GOD it's a communion Sunday because it means I can write less...and I'll do it, and then I'll come home and finally clean my house, and then next week, i promise, I'm on the whole healthy-eating-exercising thing. For real. :-) Until then: must.start.writing. my blank screen betrays me.

  61. Good evening everybody,

    I had a confirmation retreat last night and got back home in the late afternoon. Took a long nap and now I sit to begin my sermonating process. This is the latest I have ever started sermon writing. All I can say is thank God it's communion Sunday. If the sermon fairy is flying about, send him over to me.

  62. welcome, all, and Teri -- we'll be praying for you.

    Especially we'll pray for the sermon fairies.

    I'll be out for a little while now, but promise to come back a little later to check in and offer refreshments.

    Or jokes.


  63. Get church ready for tomorrow: PASS
    Go to play: FAIL (although I tried)
    Take care of headache: FAIL

    Still to do:
    Serious tweaking of the sermon draft
    Come up with a devotional for my third and last annual meeting
    Figure out what I'm going to say for my report at that meeting (if anything)

    Teri, I feel for you. Can you pick a meeting this coming week to skip? Rearrange things to have a full day off? I hate it when those boundaries get messed's so difficult to re-establish them.

  64. Teri and Diane, thank you for your comments on my sermon draft! Teri, in answer to your question on my blog - Yes! feel free.

  65. Ha! Kids were in bed before 7:30. I am so determined to watch my Netflix movie that I just HAVE to finish my sermon whittling. Sunday School on "Is Jesus the only way?" It's definitely getting the dregs of my energy this week. I sort of planned to wing it anyway, not that I recommend that regularly (but I do it often).

  66. Hanging out with you all always makes me wish I preached more often. (Be careful what you wish for, I hear myself mutter...) I offer hot chocolate chip oatmeal cookies to anyone that needs some. SheRev, can I quote your daughter anonymously with her comments on swimming in the deep end?

  67. This comment has been removed by the author.

  68. how helpful/not helpful is this (from Feasting on the Word) to the pastor on the edge of burnout?
    "So often the cost of discipleship does not come off the top; it is demanded of us after we have given everything that we can give. Jesus did not show up after a good night's sleep and a hearty breakfast. He came to find these men at the end of a long working day, after backbreaking labor, and he told them to keep on working. He does the same to the preacher of this passage, and to all of us."

    I'm beginning to have an idea, thanks to earthchick and a pretty serious desire to give the congregation something of a wake-up call. and also, it's 8pm and I have 0 words written, so I better start coming up with an idea!

  69. Let me try again.

    Go for it, Queen Mom! She's happy to share!

  70. Hugs Teri. Been there, done that.
    Hang in there and take that day as soon as you can. Do the massage, pedicure, no telephone calls, and no work related stuff.
    Hoping all of you fisher people come up with a prize catch of a sermon.

  71. Hi,
    back from Sunday morning worship. Today was a baptism and communion, so a long service with a short sermon.
    For communion I used the liturgy The A "Teaching" Eucharistic Prayer by Richard Bott . I think I got the link from Tuesday’s RevGals. It went really well. The child had a parent remind him when to come in and to help with some of the words. Regular congregation had some very positive comments. Visitors for the Baptism – who knows!
    Terri, I feel for you not getting a proper day off. A supervisor while I was at college told me she limits night meetings to 3 per week, she had teenage children and was married, so explained to the congregation that she needed time with her family. Is it possible to let the congregation know which is your day [as in 24 hours] off, and have them not schedule meetings then? Not always that easy I know. May God give you the strength to fulfil your call.

  72. the link for the communion liturgy didn't work.

  73. Thanks SheRev, and peace to you all. Especially those just starting, and those who need a day (or more) off... I'm calling it done, although the water/swimming/fishing metaphors might be a little twisty-turny in the middle. And here's a question: when did I start needing my sermons printed at 16 point? Yikes.

  74. Teri I feel your pain very personally. I have been in your spot way to often. But enough with me. I wanted you to now that GOD is holding you in the palm of God's hand. Teri yopu are in my thoughts and prayers. Blessings

  75. I know no one will believe this, but I'm done and it's up and posted. OK, so it doesn't REALLY count since this one was really just about shaving words off an old sermon instead of writing a new one, but well, it's the best I can hope for.

  76. YAY She Rev, way to go!

    I am trying to get back into the groove. I took a break to finish a book I really wanted to finish, and it sort took the emotional breath out of me. Now I would like to just go to bed, but I need to make sure this sermon makes sense.

  77. SheRev -- I say hurray for you! even if you were shaving words, it's still a victory.

    Teri -- I feel a little ambivalent about those words you quoted (tho I generally love Feasting on the Word). Maybe I'm a little close to burnout myself, right now, and would like permission to not work sometimes.

    oh, well.

  78. A lest I should forget that God does NOT work on a reward system - - just as I hit print on the computer to truly put this one to bed and call it a night of relative relaxation, I heard the undeniable and unique sound of a toddler throwing up in bed. Come on.

    He seems to be fine. His spaghetti dinner looked almost exactly the same on his sheets as it did on his bed. New sheets have been procured; the boy is sleeping. My half-melted ice cream (which I was dishing as all of this happened) is now happily in my lap. Now, if I could just make this TV change channels....

  79. I don't yet have a sermon but I have a children's time! Thanks, Songbird! I can't *wait* to call fish ... wish I was as excited about the sermon possibilities.

    Has anyone seen "Cloudy with a chance of Meatballs?" There's a great scene where the dad starts using a fishing story and the son says something about not understanding those fishing metaphors and then someone else puts a "translator" on the dad. When he starts talking, he tells the son how proud of him he is and how much he loves him. Great illustration! I don't think I'll use it tomorrow but I will use it.

  80. And, given Peter's response to Jesus in other spots, why doesn't he say: "Look, you're the carpenter. I'm the fisher. I know what I'm doing. And I've used my considerable knowledge and experience to the best of my ability. We're *done* now."

  81. Well, Diane, since you asked...
    I'd love for Antonio B to show up (NOW) and give me a massage(uh, with those hot stone, please).
    And a margarita would be good....or maybe something hot instead. Well, since i will have Antonio and hot stones....maybe a frozen drink is best?

  82. Vicar -- great point re: Peter and Jesus!

    glad to hear you have a children's time!

    Now for the sermon...

    My husband said he thought I should through plastic fish all around the sanctuary.


  83. Sermon is polished, but somehow it has also become 1600 words. ARGH! That's way too long, especially for Communion Sunday at a church that doesn't have Communion every week. And even worse, now I actually LIKE every one of those 1600 words.

    I like the plastic fish idea! And Bert and Ernie fishing. Hmm, I wonder if this church has children's sermons...guess I should have asked!

  84. Semfem,
    Go with it anyhow. My mother now claims that she gets more out of my children's sermons than she does my actual sermon
    Not sure if that speaks more to her comprehension or my preaching!
    So, I am wanting to use the word "wuss" in my sermon, refering to Peter.
    Is that considered a "bad" word or is it okay for church? I live in the south.

  85. diane, that's exactly why I put them here. I get so frustrated by people who seem to believe that we should work ourselves to death, as though that's somehow the faithful response in every situation.


  86. I'm thinking of going with scaredly cat...but it losses it effect.

  87. 1-4, usually when I find myself asking "is this word okay?" I assume I'm asking for a reason and I use a different word. In this case, I'd probably use "wimp" but in my church I think "wuss" would fly

  88. OK - ladies! I'm off to bed! Things are done, and I'm having a hard time caring about Adult Ed right now. Also, I'm just a little worried I might spend some of the night up with a puker.

    See you on the other side! Grace and peace!

  89. throw plastic fish,throw.

    really, I can spell.

    except late on Saturday night....

    and am typing on internet.

    what is it about typing on internet that encourages me to misspell????

  90. and when's the last time we got to 100 comments?

  91. Thanks, Vicar.
    As I think about it, those who might get offended will not know what it means. However, just to be safe I am going with wimp. Very good.
    Wish I knew where to find plastic fish at this hour. Maybe I'll check my cats' toy basket!
    Or I could take my rod and reel in and use it as a prop to tell the story. Just not as effective, but I am storing this one away sometime. Thanks, SB!!!!

  92. Diane, I didn't preach last week but the week before when I did, we were over 100.

  93. Weighing in really late... Teri, know that you are not alone. I am in the same place, and so when I had the amazing fortune of being slated to preach this Sunday on a text I have an old sermon on... I took it. It's on the interrelationship of call and doubt - how we can't have one without the other, with a little cleaning up it will be fine.

    But I actually loved the quote from Feasting. And I hope it inspires you to work through the exhaustion - and then give yourself rest next week. I'll be praying for you... and all of our sisters out there working in the twilight hours... Bless...

  94. aha! so it 's you, Vicar!

    well, you'll have to get to 100 without me...I guess I'm off to bed.

    we have a congregational meeting tomorrow, so pray for us.

    might be fast and easy.

    might not.

  95. I finally made it! Thanks to all of you for your support, prayers, ideas, and awesomeness--I don't think I could have done it without you.

    next up: communion prayer. I can write that WHILE watching battlestar galactica, right?

  96. I love the plastic fish idea. I wish I'd thought of it. I would also be willing to fast for a week if I could get my hands on a fishing net by tomorrow morning.

    sadly (for both my weight loss goals AND my preaching experience), I don't think I'll get it.

  97. Yes, you ae Semfem!!!!
    Way to go. And it is not midnight in CT Zone.
    I am done, getting a shower and hitting the hay after a final print.
    Anybody want a choc. oatmeal cookie? Milk? Vernor's ginger ale?
    See y'all in a few hours!
    Way to go Teri!

  98. Woohoo, and I shaved the sermon down to 1462 words to boot, which will do just fine (I think)!

    Now to pull together some quick thoughts for an annual meeting devotional and we'll be good to go.

    Glad everyone else is finishing up, especially Teri with an excellent sermon!

  99. Teri - your desire reminds me that I have a net from Church World Service in my office ... wonder what I can do with that tomorrow?

  100. 1-4, I would not hesitate to use "wuss" from the pulpit, except that not everybody might understand, so I might also offer an alternate word like "wimp."

    Heck, I was just wishing I could use some strong language from the pulpit, as in, "All of our readings today describe the classic 'Oh S---' moment." THAT will not fly.

  101. Oh sweet Baby Jesus in his Graco stroller sucking on his little toes, this is the latest I have every been up on a Saturday night writing a sermon.

    Good night everybody and may the Spirit of the Lord be upon us as we preach the good news. And may there be a big pot of coffee waiting for all of us tomorrow morning.

  102. semfem, I have often thought it an interesting juxtaposition that not all the words in the original languages of the Bible are allowed from the pulpit. We "clean up" Paul when we say "garbage" but we'd be cleaning out our office if we said the actual translation of the Greek word s**t

  103. I fully agree, Vicar.

    I learned in text study this week that the phrase in our second reading that we translate as "one untimely born" actually is better translated as "miscarriage." Which was a bit of a shock to me. I don't think I would say that one from the pulpit either...due to the pastoral implications.

  104. semfem - exactly!

    I'm also assuming that is a common phrase of that day/culture that doesn't translate into English today very well.

  105. Sermon is done! now to get prayers together and print

  106. And I just finished pulling together my devotion and my remarks for the annual meeting, so I'm going to print and head to bed.

    It will feel SO GOOD to finish off the last of three annual meetings! Three Sundays, all in a row. I covet your prayers, sisters and brothers, as this particular meeting could become difficult--more so than the previous two.

    Blessings on all pondering, preaching and proclamation this morning!

  107. everything is printed so I'm off to bed

    Blessings on your Sunday

  108. Songbird, you pop in for quick visit and provide us all with inspiration. thanks! I'm going to use Sesame Street tomorrow. Although I was suggesting children's times for another reading, I didn't have anything wonderful for today - now I do!
    How did folk manage all this before preacher's party?:)

  109. I am glad the fish call works for some of you. God be with you all this morning.

  110. good morning! looks like a productive night for everyone!

    want you to know that I'm praying for you (and myself) as we go out this a.m.

    preach it, sistahs!

  111. It's 1:30pm here in Scotland. Main service is over for another week
    The Gospel According to Sesame Street, as I billed it, went down a storm.
    Thanks for another great party.
    Blessings on all of you who've still to strut your stuff with the HS of course.

  112. Getting my act together. It seemed a well-timed night to have everything (well everything but Adult Ed) done. I was up much (most?) of the night changing sheets wherever the little decided to lay his head (and the contents of his stomach). Shoot. I already had a lot of laundry to do, but now we've got a serious backlog.

    So, the 4 year old and I head to church, the 2 year old and Dad stay home. Too bad it's a parent/child Sunday School class for the kids, and I'll be stuck teaching an adult class. My poor daughter will be an orphan in the class.

    Anyway, glad it was a hopping party. Teri - prayers for you have been offered last night and today! I hope you rest soon!


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