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Saturday, April 10, 2010

11th Hour Preacher Party: More Peaceful Edition

Good morning, pals and gals! It's been Easter for, oh, about six days now. Have you gotten used to the Risen Lord yet?
I thought not.

This being the Sunday after the Big Bash known as the Festival of the Resurrection of our Lord, it is often more (ahem) peaceful than the one before, there (often) being no choirs, no bells, no trumpets, no timpini, etc. It is also the week that Jesus comes to the disciples through locked doors to speak to them, "Peace be with you."

Are you preaching this week? (another way of asking: are you the associate pastor?) If you are preaching, are you using the much-maligned Thomas as your theme? There is a great discussion on the texts here.) If not, what are your plans this weekend? Do you need a good children's sermon?

I have blueberry pancakes this morning, orange juice, fair trade coffee and tea. The table is set, and a hearty welcome to all of you this morning, or throughout the day!
(painting is called "The Incredulity of Saint Thomas"; I found it here)


  1. OMG, I'm the first to comment!

    I am going to an all day workshop so I had to finish my sermon yesterday. Feel free to read it here.

    This is a recycled sermon that I preached when I was a wee little intern doing her field study six years ago. My how time flies.

  2. thanks for the sermon, God_Guurlll! I have plenty of Thomas sermons, but I'm writing a new one, about halfway done right now....

    coffee, anyone? I know I need some...

  3. I am preaching. I am the pinch- hitter for a colleague who had a sudden Easter death in his wife's family. However--I didn't get the invitation to preach until Thursday!!!

    I have re-worked an old sermon from ~4 years ago in the wee hours of this morning, and am already finished, which is good because I have plans today to go see/hear my spouse sing the National Anthem at a Major League Baseball game today with his chorus!

    (formerly CH)

  4. welcome, Jules! thanks for stopping in before your big plans! hope you have a good day. It's beautiful and spring-like here.

    how is it where you are?

  5. Good morning! It's not my first time preaching Thomas, but it has definitely been a while. I'm captivated by the sudden change from incarnation--God in front of their faces--to the need we have to believe without seeing. We don't all process the same way, and since I believe God got the ball rolling on all that diversity of experience, I like to think Christ was accommodating Thomas, not dissing him.
    I've got notes and an outline and a very busy day before I can get back to it. See you later!

  6. Hanging out in Virginia this week. Off to a chocolate festival a couple of hours away, so I finished the sermon yesterday. Now why can't I do that when I'm home?
    I'll check back later and, hopefully bring some chocolate:)

  7. Welcome, Songbird and Liz! I've got a busy day too (at least a busy morning) so I'll be joining you again later.

    Songbird, I don't think Jesus was dissing Thomas either.

    I was intrigued last weekend by a conversation on line about a local church who offered to Easter visitors: a chance for a free car!

    and the questions: why was Thomas absent? What brought him back?

    and what would we be willing to do to invite Thomas back?

  8. going to a Bible study, and visiting with a family about a funeral; will be back later.

    coffee and tea for all!

  9. LIZ? Chocolate festival in VA? Where? How did I miss this?

    Re: Thomas, yes I do love his honesty and his request. No passive aggression here! I am sure I have preached this being the "other" pastor for years but can I find a sermon? No, what happens to those when you need them?

    ANyway, Put lots of stuff into my head yesterday and this a.m. while half sleeping I think I churned something out. Now to get it on laptop. We will leave to go visit MIL shortly so yeah for laptops! Now I'm wondering if I'm going to drive anywhere near the chocolate festival????

    Coffee here, not much else yet but i'm willin' to fix something.

  10. I'm preaching Thomas (and I'm NOT the associate :) I only have rambling notions of where I'm going with him at this point, though. One thing that struck me in New Proclamation was the notion that doubt is not the opposite of faith-- apathy is.

    I have deanery confirmation this afternoon--my parish is hosting so that will take up a big chunk of my day. So it might be another late night. And next week is the consecration of our new bishop. That is going to be a great day--Desmond Tutu is the preacher!! But I am so looking forward to getting back to a "normal" weekend after that.

  11. Hi folks, frustrating and busy day here. Lots of little things seem to be conspiring against me. My parents are visiting from out of state and we are celebrating my youngest daughter's 6th birthday tomorrow with two parties, one for her friends and one for my pastor friends who are her godparents. So of course there is a lot of cleaning and prep to do. And also three hours of soccer games to attend. And the small matter of driving two hours (round trip) to lead worship and preach as usual this evening. I have a good theme and title "Can I Get a Witness" but the sermon is lacking...well, it's really lacking in my attention, since with girls having extra time off, and visitors, and buying a car this week, and taking goodies to said 6 year old's class, I didn't do much with it! Very uninspired. Going with John and Acts and hoping the HS will truly inspire me. Otherwise, I will walk the dog at 5:30 tonight.

    Greetings to all. Sounds like others are very busy too! Hello to Jules and how cool to have your hubby sing at an MLB game! And RDM Desmond Tutu! Cool!

  12. Checking in this morning, but not writing until later. I did a little more thinking and outlining earlier this week than usual, but I don't anticipate that will earn me a whole lot more sleep tonight. Not too fired up about this sermon. I think my last 5 before maternity leave will be like pulling teeth - and not real loose teeth, either. Ugh.

    My daughter needs her haircut. Both kids want to play with the neighbors. I'm praying the neighbors are free today, but we'll see in a little while. They (curse them) get to sleep in later than we do somehow. How do they train their kids to do that?

    Will be back probably during naptime to check in.

    Oh yeah - - I'm on Acts. I've done my share of Thomas, too, although, I'm one of those that can't seem to find any of them. I've got the one or two from the years I ignored the Thomas part of the story and preached the breathing of the Spirit part. Those aren't too bad.

  13. I am not the associate and I am preaching from Acts ... not Thomas but Peter. That's almost all I have right now but today is filled with piano competition for one kid and prom for the other. So I'll be reading posts on my phone but it won't usually let me post. I'll be back later, much later I'm afraid.

  14. I'm the Associate...and have spent the past several years coming up with creative ways to NOT preach the Sunday after Easter, or to not preach Thomas. As an intern, I preached Revelation instead. One year here I did a guided meditation. Another year it was youth Sunday, and another year it was the children's musical...and two years (this one included!) I've scheduled a confirmation class field trip for this Sunday. Hallelujah. This week I'm taking 8 youth and 2 other adults to the Coptic Orthodox Church for a 3.5 hour worship service conducted almost entirely in Arabic and Coptic and for which we will mostly stand. awesome.
    I plan to have pizza for lunch so if anyone wants some yummy Trader Joe's pizza with amazing cheeses, stop by! :)

    RE Thomas, there's an interesting discussion going on at a couple of RGBP facebook pages--including at M.Kirby's in a post made on Thursday afternoon. If you're friends w/him, check it out...

  15. There be no associate pastor i'm preaching tomorrow. Last year I was gone on vacation for a friend's wedding.

    I'm looking forward to taking a stab at Thomas and even wrote half of the sermon on Wednesday.

    Good thing too, because I just spent 2 hours reading The Girl in the Dragon Tattoo ... and I have another 60 or so pages until the end.

    I'm taking a break to make some chocolate chip pancakes and will have plenty to share. Anyone want to trade brunch for a children's sermon idea?!

  16. welcome everyone! I see there are many people preaching Thomas, and many preaching something else! I'm just between meetings, here for a few minutes, but will return. still have to finish that pesky sermon!

    kudos to those of you who are done (I'm trying to take the high road here). (for awhile I was really good about being done on Friday, and now I'm backsliding again.) (can Lutherans backslide? Yes, they can.)

  17. re everyone's Thomas views: a couple of years ago I preached one about sharing the peace, and the first part of the reading. included a little about what the meaning of "sharing the peace" in the liturgy really is....

  18. I've written about 700 words, and while I'm still preaching on the John text, it seems that I may not be preaching on Thomas after all. Funny how that happens; I think I'm going to preach one thing and it turns into something else. But it struck me how we start shouting alleluia at the sight of the empty tomb while the disciples were hidden away, afraid for their lives--when did they realize they had something to celebrate--well, in John's telling it's when Jesus appears, bringing gifts: peace, mission, Holy Spirit and authority (gifts idea from John Kysar, Preaching John)

    We too are the recipients of those do we celebrate that?

    Of course, this line of thinking may come to naught, too. I have about an hour to work and then I must go over to the church and make sure that everything is ready for the Bishop and today's confirmation service. Back later!

  19. hey rev Dr. Mom, thanks for checking in. I like what you are saying about when we move from fear to celebration: when Jesus comes.... let me know if it bears fruit!

    ok, now I gotta figure it out...

  20. So far I've found no end to the potential preaching on Thomas...and I've posted my draft sermon right here

  21. Preaching Thomas here... had a fun moment when I, the lowly intern, said to the senior pastor, "why are you preaching the Sunday after Easter? Isn't that what I'm here for?" It was great to see the look of surprise and relief come over her face!

    I think of Thomas as being rather like Job: blessed and rewarded, in the end, for his commitment to full engagement with the challenges of faith.

    Sermon's mostly done, but I'm working elsewhere 'til six and watching a neighbor's child from 6-8, so hopefully I'll wrap it up tonight!

  22. welcome, MaineCelt! I'm glad your offer to preach was so graciously accepted.

    seems to be a quiet day out there.

    I need to preach at 5, so I have something, but I'm kind of shy to post it.

    Our worship planning committee decided that the theme for easter should be "love," and that each sunday we need to highlight love in a different way. This week: "Love for self."

    Which makes sense, but seems to be kind of an insertion, as far as the actual gospel text is concerned.

    so my "how love for self fits in" part of the sermon seems a little bit contrived....

  23. my husband is up helping his son move; what does anyone want for supper? pizza? burgers?

    let me know.

  24. I am preaching Acts. Like Thomas, but have grwon tired of him.
    For now I am soaking a foot. Had ingrown toe nail taken off, cut out, removed(whatever) yesterday.
    This one hurt more than the last one. Been doped up on darvocet and have just come back into reality.
    Not sure where I am going with the Acts text and with Peter.
    My title: By, George, I Think They've Got It!

  25. Diane, how about loving self by asking for what you need?

    RevDrMom, mine sermon turned out focused on fear and how we are now to do what Jesus did, share his Spirit. I think its coming out ok, not great but ok.

    We just visited MIL and are now at one of the old original drive-in with pull out ordering box and oldies music. what fun since there's wifi nearby too. ha ha, not the old days but still fun.

  26. Diane - - I did a love theme through Easter last year.

    Vicar - - I'm glad I'll be in good company tonight -- late and working on Peter!

    Kids are napping and I feel like knitting more than writing. Surprise, surprise.

  27. Nancy -- asking for what you need -- say more about that...

    intrigued... maybe will rewrite sermon after 5:00.

    I have to go practice again.

    hey! slow day. only 25 comments so far...

  28. I had a great day at church, got home just after two, put in some laundry, picked up the yard, ate a sandwich, then was ready to write. Except then my husband's BFF called to say he could come over to try and fix our messed-up desktop. Two hours later I have a working computer, but I'm just opening the Word document for my sermon. Which did not require the desktop. But when you're taking free tech support, you take it when it's offered, right? Especially when the friend is kind enough to get down on the floor and untangle an octopus of cords.
    So, I'm exactly where I was when I left the house this morning, which is to say I have some notes and an outline. And it's time to walk the dog, pick up my daughter, pick up the flowers I'm putting on the altar get the picture.
    This may be one of those Saturday nights we put Shrek 2 on the DVD player and pray that Antonio Banderas brings it!

  29. I know how you feel, Songbird....

  30. Hi all. We don't have an associate but we managed for neither one of us to preach tomorrow anyway! - it's Campus Ministry Sunday and one of our students is preaching. In fact, the whole service is student-led and I feel like I've been responsible for choreographing a ballet.

    Currently working on Sunday School lessons, etc.

    Happy preaching to all!

  31. No associate here but I sure wish I had taken this Sunday off. My husband and I were able to get out of town for a few days this week. It was great but I'm having trouble getting focused. My thoughts at the beginning of the week aren't coming together on Thomas. About 300 words and a long way to go.

  32. I was just remember that at this time last year I was off because I was supposed to be on the RevGAls Big Event. My father-in-law died, and I couldn't go.

    But we went out of town Saturday night anyway....

  33. This lectionary time last year, I was getting ready to go to Umbria but I did preach Thomas. Tomorrow, my deacon will do the preaching as it is his Sunday to do so. We have confirmation here on Wednesday night so I've set things in motion for that. Nice to have a bishop come preach!
    Next Sunday's sermon has to be good enough to take to the Episcopal Preaching Foundation for critique.

    RevDrMom, joy in consecrating a new bishop. We are 14 months behind you. Yes, the election is ten months out yet and there is no slate yet either. Still, some of us are already hip deep in the "process."

    Good luck everyone!

  34. now I'm going to fix some of my sermon for tomorrow. Maybe not as extensively as I thought at first, but a couple of sections, anyway. (sigh).

    She Rev -- let's get together sometime.

    and I want to hear about your love theme...

  35. Songbird, I'm playing catch up with you. I just got home from our confirmation service a little while ago--and I was there much longer than I anticipated. I was standing in my kitchen looking out the window when the first clergy person arrived--an hour before I expected any one, and the bishop arrived 10 minutes later. YIKES. Glad I was (mostly) ready. It was a great service, but now I need to get my head back around this sermon!

  36. Other than arranging my notes in the order of my outline, I'm no further along, RDM, since I walked the dog, went to the store and fixed and had dinner with my daughter.

    I know this happened when I was writing sermons every week, but it is much worse now, SOOO hard to get a rhythm.

  37. ok, I'm not fixing the sermon, I'm knitting.

    so, gotta stop that now.

    and Songbird, I'm with you! it's hard to get a rhythm when you don't preach every week.

  38. Diane, I'm sure your sermon will come out fine, the HS doesn't wait till tomorrow to have our backs, right?

    Or so I'm hoping. I'm not super happy with mine but it is what it is now. I"m going to read and watch TV.

    My worship leader had an emergency and left town, he also had the children. The Youth teacher had to go to WVA cos she works for WVA Senator. SO...I'm on for lots of parts tomorrow and plan to get as many last minute readers as I can.

    ah well, it shall be well, all of it.

  39. Rev Nancy Fitz - sorry I didn't see your comment earlier. The choc fest was actually in Lewisburg in West Virginia - only two hours from where we are in Highland County - a bit far for you.
    Let me tell you - it was wonderful. Thankfully we could get choc to go at lots of stalls - I'll be posting some pics on my blog later on. It was very well done.
    Anyway, back to Sunday - all I hope is in hand - I'm just the guest preacher,so I'm enjoying a glass or two of red wine while our lasagne is cooking - a rare treat on a Saturday night!

  40. Hi all.
    For those preaching on the Acts text, there are some good examples of conversion in the movie section of Textweek.
    Two of the best are Phil's gradual transformation in Ground Hog day and then the transformation of lt Dunbar in Dances with WOlves. He learns to tell his own story in a new way.
    Good stuff. Hope all are well. Anyone need some Easter Chocolate of a bowl of mint choc chip ice cream?

  41. I've got everything now but a conclusion. I think I'll eat dessert. Maybe that will help.

  42. still fixing and avoiding here.

  43. Yeah - Diane, we need to. I think a knitting class would be the perfect place!!! (Funny - I wrote that before I saw how you were knitting instead of writing. I am pretty close to finish the first sock of a pair for my son, but I left it in the other room so that I won't mess with it. It helps that I'm kind of at a stage where I need his foot so I can tell when I'm done.)

    Just showed up and I'll let myself tool around on FB for a few minutes to hopefully get that out of my system -- hopefully. Then I'll plug my disk in and see what it is I wrote on Thursday. Usually I don't write anything on Thursday, but this week I had time and a LITTLE inspiration so I went for it. It's not much at all, but hopefully it'll be enough to get me going.

  44. Okay! I'm there! I finally figured out where I was going all along. That, my friends, is a miracle.

  45. Ah, Liz, I lived in Lewisburg WVA for a couple of years when I was a kid!

    Still no finished sermon, and I've been procrastinating for last hour. I'll be kicking myself in the morning.

    Also the heat seems not to be working in my house. I won't freeze tonight (low in the 40s) but if it means that I won't have any hot water for a shower in the morning (which I didn't yesterday either!) I will NOT be a happy camper.


  46. Cold shower? BLECH!

    OK. Opening the document now. Really.

  47. Got home from work to find supper ready-- gobbled it down just before neighbor child arrived, then watched her for three hours 'til her papa came back for her. By then it was past nine o'clock: my farmer rhythms say "Bedtime" but my preacher rhythms say, "Not before your sermon's done!"

    About an hour later, I think I've got it pretty much wrapped up. I'm pretty much in love with Thomas and with Jesus right now, and it seems like a good time to head off to bed and dream.

    Grace and blessings to all late-night writers. Pentecost is coming, and the Holy Spirit's got your back!

  48. sadly, I'm still up. anyone else? I'll keep you company for a little while.

    yes, she rev... pretty soon...the next week is going to be pretty stressful, but-

  49. I'm still up, trying to get my thoughts down on paper. Tomorrow we are confirming 7 youth, whom I have led through a confirmation process over the past year. After each of the youth shares her/his statement of faith, I will offer a brief sermon. I'm focusing on community - that Thomas must have really trusted his friends to be able to share his questions with them (they do not appear to judge him), and that in community, we help each other grow. This is why the youth are joining the church, so that they have a community who will love and nurture them, and so that we can all experience Christ together.

  50. I am here Dianne. Will be for awhile I fear.
    Toe is hurting some and due to bandages I am not sure what shoes to wear!
    preaching on acts, added all way to v. 41 where peter and co. are rejoicing over their flogging.
    fun stuff.
    Ready for bed, soon...must.keep. working!

  51. I'm still here...and trying to work on Acts.

    I am desperate for a children's message...anyone? anyone? Bueller? lol

  52. OK - - an hour later I still haven't opened that document from Thursday, but I've read just about every blog I read (but haven't posted) and finished all unfinished business (games) on FB. Now is it time to start??? Better get something done before SNL starts soon because Tina Fey is going to be hard to ignore.

    I've got the children's sermon tomorrow (also preaching Acts), and I'm 99.9% sure I'm going to start with a game of Simon Says. I'll compare the game (listening only to the authority of "Simon") to listening to God for our direction in life. Something like that.

  53. I've been fiddling around with the text, but I'm going to call it good and hope others will feel the same way about it. It's going to be a very full day tomorrow, so I had better go to sleep. Blessings to all of you. 1-4, hope the foot feels better! liz, you are in an old haunt of mine, I went to summer camp in Lewisburg!
    Diane, thanks for hosting this week.

  54. Wow, what a day! I'm ready for bed but my sermon is not. So, here I am. Hope I'm not the only one.

  55. ok, I'm done, but not going to post it, as I'm not sure it's publishing quality. will be trusting the holy spirit.

    will be back once more. not quite ready for bed yet.

  56. Yea! Vicar's back! I'm here with little to nothing. Running to help my husband put the clean sheets back on the bed, but will be back to procrastinate more just as SNL is starting. Perfect timing!

  57. I think I'm "stealing" the Simon says idea ... I hadn't even thought about Children's Time!

  58. Clean sheets! I forgot to put mine in the wash. I wonder which will finish first: sheets or sermon?

  59. Sheets won here! I wanted something to crawl into when SNL is over!

  60. Just posted mine at my place... I'm sure there will be the last minute tweaks once I've slept on it, but I'm done for now.

    Since I preach so infrequently, I'm not terribly tied to the lectionary. In fact, this time I looked up the wrong readings, but it turned out to be a very happy accident. I found the other Thomas reading in John 14 and Psalm 136.

    Not sure what I'll do for the kids yet, but I'm ready for one last read-through and some sleep.

    Many blessings to you who are still hard at it. And good rest to those who are done and in.

  61. good night everyone.

    remind one another (and me) that the Holy Spirit has our backs.

  62. I just hit print--finally--and I'm off to bed. It is getting chilly in here!

    And the Holy Spirit does have our backs!

    G'night everyone!

  63. I just read that Dixie Carter (I know her best as Julia Sugarbaker from Designing Women) died today. I so loved they way she played strong women!

    back on task!

    sermon! sermon! sermon!

  64. Really?? Now you have just sent me out to read more. That woman could sing!!!!

  65. I had forgotten the singing!

    sheets vs sermon: sheets in dryer, sermon=who, what, when, where, why

    seriously, that's the beginning and all of my sermon thus far

  66. We're doing so well tonight, Vicar. This is awesome. My sheets are on the bed. Just heard my husband making his way toward them. I'm 28 minutes from when I'd like to do that same, but have just about that much on my sermon. Can't turn the TV off.

  67. She Rev, That's funny because I write better with the tv on. It has to be something that does not demand my attention or have too much dialogue ... like football, baseball, America's Best Dance Crew, SportsCenter, some movie I've seen before ...

  68. I'm OK with the some TV, but what I've had on is not in that category.

    I think I'm about to write my first sermon that comes pretty darn close to "3 points and a poem." That I've made it this long without doing it is pretty good, right? I think I've earned myself one less-creative-organization sermon. I just need to stop planning and start writing. Going that direction now, and hopefully I'll feel comfortable enough to head to bed in the next 45 minutes. Hopefully sooner!

  69. I'm done and will read it again in the morning...hopefully it will preach!

    I'm still not sure about a children's message and hate that it gets my least bit of attention...Simon Says is good but I did that last year with the whole congregation. IDK. Other ideas?

    Blessings on those still up and preparing, on those slumbering, and on our congregations as they seek God's word in their lives right now!

  70. Sherev,
    At least your sermon had "a" point or more.
    Mine, has nothing. It sounds a lot like,"blah, blah, blah."
    I should have just pulled my Thomas sermon from 3-4 yrs ago.
    Oh well...
    I need a closer. Too bad Smoltz is retired.

  71. Smoltz: used to babysit his kids when I lived in ATL

  72. I think 3 pts and a poem is a fine way to order a sermon especially if it's not typical.

    Sometimes on the 2nd Sunday of Easter, I spend Children's Time talking about the 50 days of Easter with emphasis on Easter not being one day only. fwiw

  73. My only other children's sermon idea went with Psalm 150 instead. Assign parts (or real instruments) to the kids (and congregation) and have them praise the Lord as you read the psalm.

    Could possibly connect it to Acts, if you feel the need, with some recognition of the apostles not being able to stop teaching in Jesus' name, preaching the gospel, praising God with their words and actions.

    We can use tambourines to praise God, dance to praise God, trumpets, strings, anything - - even (and especially) our witness to the gospel with our words and actions.

  74. The sheets are finished. The sermon is not. I have two pages of expanding the text to explain what got them in this spot and what happens next with Gamaliel. So what's that 5 mins? more, I need more ...

    And the prom kid just sent a text that they're leaving prom & headed for "after party."

  75. Ugh -- one at prom? Prayers for you Vicar. If you're anything like my mom was, you won't be sleeping tonight even if the sermon does get written.

    I'm heading to bed. I think this is going to be a short one (well, two - - night and sermon) for me. Although, those are famous last words. At this point I can't figure out what is going to flesh it out more, but also at this point, I'm pretty sure I don't care. Why can't this be the case, though, on a Sunday when we have a LOT going on in worship. This week is alreaday a little empty, but we'll see what happens.

  76. Sleep well, She Rev. I'll still be here for a while.

    Prom kid has orders (that she has followed) to text all movements. She's almost to the landing spot where she'll be until tomorrow

  77. I am amazed that you babysat Smoltz kids ... wow

  78. For those of you scoring at home, the sermon is finished and the prayers remain unfinished ... but not for long since everyone else (here, fb, and twitter) has gone to sleep. Amazing how much I type when there are no notifications popping up

  79. Finally, everything is printed.

    now to make the bed so I can get in it and go to sleep

    Blessings on your Sunday

  80. Glad to see you have finished and are hopefully sleeping soundly at this point. I slept well even if short. Now I need to get typing!

  81. Glad to see you have finished and are hopefully sleeping soundly at this point. I slept well even if short. Now I need to get typing!

  82. That's weird. I didn't do a darn thing different to make that post twice.

  83. I guess we had a late-night rush!

    I here to remind everyone again to have a blessed Easter 2... and that the risen Christ is with you!

  84. Thanks Diane! I need it. I keep chasing rabbits and can't quite bring this one where it needs to be!

  85. 1264 so far - - blah blah blah. I've got an hour to go before I have to shower and move on (if not SLIGHTLY longer). Let's get it moving, SheRev!

  86. Oh my - - now I'm almost done, but have way more words than I intended when I started. There's a lot of chasing my tail in the middle when I couldn't find my direction. Must leave it for a few minutes to go shower and start to get ready. Will come back to hopefully find the Editorial Spirit at my fingertips!

  87. Good God, it's done. Worship starts in 32 minutes. I guess it's time to head to church!


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