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Saturday, June 12, 2010

11th Hour Preacher Party: Repentant Edition

Good morning, gals and pals! I wasn't sure exactly what to call this weekend's party theme. I mean, you have self-righteous Simon and the woman with tears and the alabaster jar; you have (in one set of readings) Nathan calling King David to account, and (in another) Naboth's vineyard; then you have the apostle Paul in Galatians, reminding us that "I have been crucified with crucifed with Christ" and "the life I live now I live by faith....". well.

so, I went with repentance, or the sudden realization of God's grace and goodness, weeping or laughing or falling on your face or changing your whole outlook on life.

Also, I can ask you: what have you changed your mind about this week, yesterday, today? Are your preaching ideas the same today as they were on Tuesday? Do you have a good children's message?

The texts for tomorrow are here. And over here, there's a great discussion of some possible themes, including dealing with some of the strong women in some of these texts..

Today, I have fair trade coffee (toffee caramel), cinnamon tea, blueberry pancakes and pretty good conversation. I hope you'll join the party.


  1. an early night for me tonight [9.15pm Saturday evening] two short reflections, one on Kings and one on Luke, and most other parts of the service handed out to various members of church council. still not much voice, though improving, but I don't know how well it will last.
    But the congregation are great. They care for me, and offer to do whatever needs to be done.

    Hopefully plenty of sleep tonight, and plenty of great sermons for the rest of you.

  2. thanks for coming to the party, PRL, and I hope your voice is better. glad you have a supportive congregation.

    I'm brewing the coffee now, just seeing who is showing up.

  3. I'm here early. I've got blueberry pancakes to share also, as well as some rhubarb muffins.

    Trying to get some meat on the outline this morning before I head to presbytery for the day.

    See y'all later!

  4. Rhubarb muffins! Thank you!

    I'm trying to get some things done before an afternoon funeral (2:00).

    So, it's a full day. I'm looking at Luke, and connecting with our congregation's Natural Church Development initiative, especially with regard to what a "passionate spirituality" looks like.

    Welcome, Dancing!

  5. Ooooohhh, pass those muffins over here.

    Preaching off lectionary here. I am going to attempt to explain looking at a congregation as a system when it deals with change using the parable of trying to put new wine into old wineskins.

    Wish me luck pals!

  6. I'm pretty much where I was Tuesday, Grace and forgiveness here, pointing out that we're way too much like Simon, we need to accept God's forgiveness and when we understand God's forgiveness like the woman did, we are free to pass on that forgiveness because we no longer have to make ourselves fell like we're better than others.

    Hope it makes more sense tomorrow!

    I've got to get the outline fleshed out this am, got friends coming in from out of town this afternoon...

    Plenty of Earl Grey tea here...

  7. God Gurrlll-- I am wishing you luck, and prayers. Sounds good.

    I like where you are going, Althea. My idea has some striking similarities....

    coffee, anyone?

  8. I'm preaching my first sermon in my new parish, now that I'm "all ordained and stuff". I'm feeling the pressure of a first sermon!

    I'm looking at Luke and themes of love, forgiveness, and relationship, but most importantly human dignity: who are the people we think of and treat as less-than-human? Who are those we could do without? I'm planning to tie these thoughts in with the line from the Magnificat, "He has cast down the mighty from their thrones, and has lifted up the lowly" - good news means different things for Simon & the woman.

  9. Blessings on your firsts Parodie! The blessing of parish ministry is the opportunity you have to feed the people a steady diet, which means it no longer has to be gourmet every time (like when doing traveling pulpit supply). So, while I have no doubt God can use you to hit it out of the park, a reliable single is all that is required. (how's that for mixed metaphors?)

    I got back from vacation on Wednesday, which, along with the text (Mt. 25/sheep & goats) has made this a difficult week of preparation. Hoping to get enough done by 2 to watch me some futbol!

    Blessings all! And coffee's brewing.

  10. Although I'm not preaching tomorrow I had to write a reflection for the Feminist Theology blog that I host for the Episcopal Church Center in NYC. I built my reflection off of the conversation on Tuesday about "love of power or power of love" and the game of can read it here or FT blog. Thanks to whoever it was that had that thought (Sunrise).

  11. welcome, parodie, irrev. and mompriest! blessings on first call sermon, and everything else!

    I'm getting ready to go to church to get ready for p.m. funeral. I know, it seems early, but the funeral is for a retired pastor, and I have a few more assistants than usual to coordinate.

    then, a worship service.
    see you in a little while.

  12. I fear we have nothing more special than Cheerios and almond milk here this morning, although if you drop by I can whip up an omelet with our Amish eggs and some cheese.;-)

    I'm up for preaching tomorrow; for some reason I'm leaning towards preaching a rip-roaring old-school-Lutheran Law/Gospel-dialectic sermon. But I'm certainly open to alternate suggestions.;-) Which is to say...I really don't know what I'm going to preach about.

  13. LutheranChik: I vote for the rip-roaring law/gospel sermon! Go for it!

    Welcome, even with your cheerios...

  14. I'll be here later today, working (off lectionary) on the story of Elijah and the 450 prophets of Baal. But this morning I have a houseguest (stayed over after last night's party due to long drive!) and we're going to the farmer's market and hanging out a bit. So I don't have any snackies now, but post Farmer's Market, hopefully!

  15. Fresh pineapple to share.

    I was able to write on Thursday...on Naboth's Vineyard and how each of us has a bit of Ahab and Jezebel in us...if we are truly honest with ourselves. Will try to post it later, as it is on the church computer.

    And after a very stormy night, winds of 70 mph, and rain that was horizontal instead of vertical...all seems to be relatively quiet.

  16. Good morning revgals and pals!
    I just got back from a stunningly fun game of soccer (I play with a bunch of moms on Saturdays) and now am ready to tackle the sermon - for next week! I don't have to preach this weekend since the senior pastor and I are trading off - he is doing this weekend (Saturday and Sunday) and I am doing next weekend (Saturday and Sunday).
    I've been feeling like a "real pastor" this week with a funeral and now a woman who has made the decision to let go of life support after a full year. I have walked the journey with her and her family and so I am now the one they are turning to and it is very humbling. Tomorrow I will baptize two of her grandchildren in her room at the nursing home, and Tuesday she will be weaned off the ventilator. In the meanwhile, I will be at our Annual Conference all this week and commuting back to see her. It is crazy busy, but it is holy ground.. Prayers well as any thoughts on next week's OT text - "What are you doing here Elijah?" is what I am going with.
    Blessings to all, especially the first timer Parodie! I have a bunch of stuff from our CSA to share - lettuce, radishes, beets, kale, collards - dive on in!

  17. woa..purple, those winds - yikes. I think that same storm is headed my way....sigh. no dog park today.

    mumpastor, I love the title, "what are you doing here Elijah?" - could be fun to ponder that!

    farmers market goodies - yum! I have homemade banana peach bread - help yourselves.

    Now back to those search committee questions I keep procrastinating from answering.....

  18. Wow, Mumpastor what an honor to have walked with this family for a year. I am touched that you will be baptizing her grand children in her room just before she is weaned off life support. So symbolic of the sacrament of baptism, diving into the waters to emerge into the new life that only God can give.

    So my rough draft is finished. I was wondering if you have time if you could come over to my blog and let me know what you think.

    BTW, we are having blueberry waffles for lunch. Don't you just love having breakfast all day long. :)

  19. four big white stuffer mushrooms, sliced, on whole wheat toast for breakfast here and a good pot of coffee...
    Not a single solitary homiletic clue yet for tomorrow.
    Wrestling with some fairly wispy and abstruse stuff about the relation between language, words -- and knowing -- coming out of long, long conversations this week.

  20. Hello all--been a while!

    Blessings to you GG--the wineskins sound great.

    And Mompastor--what an amazing honot and powerful journey!

    I'm looking at Luke and Kings--about 2/3rds done. Fred Craddock had a wonderful comment to the effect that the woman was told to "go in peace," but go where? She needed a place with people like her--forgiven sinners who understood and would uphold her as she strives to be all she's now called to be--sounds like the church, FC says. And I agree!

    I've been to the Farmer's Market and the library already this morning--have some wonderful tiny early strawberries to share. Later they will go over shortcake for dessert, but y'all can sneak some.

    Sermonating now...

  21. Mumpastor -- what a privilege. Praying for you.

    sorry to be so long getting back to the party. welcome to all of you!

    several church things and errands here.

    in a little while, I'll be getting to set up for the funeral.

    we are having a trunk sale at the church today.....

    and it's raining. boo hoo.

    hot dogs, anyone?

  22. No preaching for me tomorrow, which means I was free to whip up a batch of waffles for all of you; I even have real Vermont maple syrup to go with it, or blueberry syrup if you prefer :-)

    I've had a spurt of productivity this a.m. That probably means I will run out of steam soon and spend the rest of the day goofing off. First, though, I'm off with older son and husband to get a passport for the son...a rite of passage, I think, especially since he'll be waiting a while for his license, due to the need to improve grades.

  23. just getting started on my sermon - I've been exhausted all week and found myself giving into the nap urge at noon (it's susposed to wait until I have my first draft done). Don't know why I am so tired...

    I am toying with the themes of lavish love following forgiveness and little love coming from those who don't recognize just how great their 'debt' really was. And I also really liked Fred Craddock's "go in peace - to where?" thought too. It remains to be seen how I can weave all these into coherent thought!

    In the meantime - fresh basil from my garden, fresh tomato from the farmers market and a little motzerella chese - TMB sandwiches make the perfect lunch nosh.

  24. Welcome to Ramona and Betsy. A nap does sound good right now.


    I like your ideas Ramona! And Betsy, you can whip up something for us anytime!

    G-G, I will read your draft after my funeral etc.

  25. Banana peach bread sounds lovely and I can't wait to see what Teri has after a trip to Farmer's Market.Our local market opend this week and so I have fresh tomatoes, corn, and eggplant(in a casserole).
    Had a full veggie supper last night.
    I am working on the vineyard story. Trying to go with theme of how evil we can be. Yet, still able to seek God's forgivness.
    Kids sermon....I have NO IDEA
    Waiting for soccer game to start in 15 minutes. So, so exciting. Love the music of S. Africa!
    Okay, back to sermoninzing/

  26. i'm home! Got spinach and tomatoes here yet (not until late July/August in this climate) but the greens are incredible! and Jaci's cookies are so ridiculously good...I got a new one with local raspberry jam and almonds....
    my houseguest is gone, so now it's just me and the kitties and, hopefully, a sermon before 6pm so I can get to a graduation party tonight...

  27. Not preaching this week because we are "debuting" a new children's service. The youth will act out the gospel (The Good Samaritan) as I tell the story.

    But I have been running around all morning getting things together for the service, and in a few minutes I need to head over to the church and test out projecting the songs. I'm nervous about this -- we've never used any technology in church and I don't want people's reactions to that to (negatively) color their reactions to the service itself. So if I can't make it work seamlessly I'll ditch it and put the songs on a flip chart. The words are all in the bulletin, but I feel like it would be easier if they were also visible somewhere else, especially on the last song which has hand motions.

    Our first parish picnic of the summer is after the service, too, and I'm really hoping the thunder storms will hold off til late afternoon.

    I'll be back later to read sermons. Happy writing, preachers.

  28. I didn't have time to comment when I stopped by this morning but I'm back from the Baptism class I just taught. Feeling a bit like when I was in sales. Believer's Baptism is what I believe but what a 'sell' to teens today. Especially ones who have been in church most of their life and really don't see a need to be embarrassed by getting dunked in front of everyone. (sigh)

    I have M&M and expresso beans to share. The morning coffee still sounds good but I need to sleep tonight so just a few beans for me.

    I'm hoping the sermon (short) I wrote b4 falling asleep last night makes sense when I turn to it in a minute to draft it up. A nap sounds better.

    Exciting times for 1st sermon in a 1st call! (Parodie) I've several of your already done(!) sermons opened in tabs to read when I stall out.

    blessings to all.

  29. Happy to see all of you! Not much going yet but I am moving along.

    Fresh peaches and a few plums to share for afternoon snackage.

  30. sorry to be away for so long. had a funeral and now I'm going into my 5:00 service.

    I'll check back in when the "early edition" is done.

    anything you would like to order?

  31. Rain rain go away, I want to grill on by BBQ today.

    If this weather keeps up I'm going to have to start building an ark.

    Beloved partner helped me revise my sermon to make it less confusing for lay people. I was able to pare it down quite a bit.

    I'm going to try to BBQ in the sprinkles, if sucessful I'll have brats and beer to share with you all.

  32. RDM, the service sounds wonderful. Will be praying for its success.

  33. Hello preachers!
    I'm back from watching THE futbol match and a graduation open house. About 1/2 done with the sermon. Got an idea about the rest but need to get the words down on paper. I'm a bit afraid I'm going to be wordy this week...

  34. hi! preached the early edition. will just need a few minor repairs. I'll be back to get you guys dinner or whatevder in a little while.

    how's it going?

  35. well, I have successfully taken a nap, talked to a friend, and stared at the screen. I have to go to a graduation party, so I guess I'll be here late at night with...whoever's here late at night.
    Since I'm preaching 1 Kings 18 (not the lectionary), the song after the sermon at the first service is Impermanent Things. I kinda wish it was at all three services, but I'll have to live, I suppose. I think it says more than any sermon I might write will....

  36. oh! Peter Himmelman! He was in my sister's Graduating class, you know.

    I learn so much from you guys.

    back for the evening. I want to provide whatever support I can, including food, tea, margaritas...



  37. Hello everyone, I'm arriving rather late to the party. And really needing a good dose of the Holy Spirit ASAP. Today was a memorial service, scattering of ashes afterwards, and lunch out...then a looooong nap to make up for not sleeping hardly at all the night before...and now I'm here to put something together for tomorrow. All after a very long week away at church conference.

    So Diane, I'll gladly accept food and tea! Margarita sounds awesome but would probably not be the best idea right now. :)

  38. semfem, I've got a burger for you. No margarita, as per your request.

    but here's some tea.

    and some sympathy.

    hope to hear more about how it's going later.

  39. Thank you Diane for listening to my whining. :)

    I preached one of my very early sermons on this Sunday, nine years ago, on the David and Bathsheba text...and when I read it now, I am shocked at how little forgiveness I find in it! Striving to address both the sense of conviction AND the grace of forgiveness this time around.

  40. I am checking in late, as well, and will be here late too. All of my energy and excitement on Tuesday translated into not enough done by now due to bad scheduling on my part.

    I know, whatever.

    Anyway, off to write for a bit then I'll be back.

  41. Tortellini, anyone? Garlic cheese bread to go with it. Food for the preaching journey :-)

    Rev Dr Mom, I hope the new service goes well. We started a "family service" 5 years ago as a 3rd service on Sunday mornings, and it has been a wonderful blessing even as it sometimes requires quite a bit of extra work and stress.

  42. Betsy, that sounds wonderful! I've already had dinner here, but maybe a little bit to help me finish up this sermon on justification.

    My theological, kinda academic sermon on the trinity was (surprisingly) a big hit. So I decided to give justification a try with the Galatians text. I may regret this decision tomorrow.

  43. morning service is over , voice held out - which also means the person on sound turned the mics up so I barely had to make a sound, and people led prayers, welcomed a new member, etc, etc. instead of preaching I had 2 short reflections - on 1Kings and Luke, the idea of what happens when we use power for our own greed or to show love. Thanks Sunrise for that on Tuesday, it gathered my scattered thoughts.
    No for 48 hours off, a public holiday here tomorrow for Queens Birthday, so I am going away with husband for 2 nights.
    All you yet to preach, God bless you.

  44. Back from seeing the new Karate Kid - a promise to my son if he'd not pester me while I got my first draft done. Time to review and hope what I wrote still sounds coherent.

    Still exhausted today, so I may do an early bedtime and try to hit the "final" revision tomorrow bright and early.

    Final theme is 'a life of lavish love.'

    No snacks - I'm too full from the pizza before the movie. Hmmm.. maybe a nice cup of chamomile tea or warm milk?

  45. hot chamomile tea coming right up!

    I'm working on a sock, hoping it's going to turn out the same length as the last one...

    also need to look over the sermon before bedtime, it preached all right at 5:00, except I feel like I need a bit stronger last two sentences or so.

    I'll keep checking in for a bit.

  46. Goodnight everyone. May the Holy Spirit have our backs tomorrow.

    Peace and love,

  47. okay, I'm back from the party, high-fructose-corn-syrup-filled-Coke in hand. not a lot of inspiration there, except one little statement that might (MIGHT) get me a way in...someone said "Just talk about the blackhawks!" I was like, "umm, no...." but then I started thinking...the title of my sermon is "no contest." As in, the contest between God and Baal (or between Elijah and the 450) is really no contest. This week there was a hard fought contest that resulted in a win for "our side"...

    I know, it's not related. But it might be an two-sentence opener that lets me get in. MIGHT.

  48. I've about wrestled this beast to the ground. Jesus separating out the sheep and the goats. Preaching this text for the first time, I've been blown away by even conservative commentators allowing that this passage *may* provide recourse to salvation for those who do not know Christ as such but care for Him in the poor.
    I've been amazed by that truth but serve a congregation that isn't quite ready for that message straight up. So how to be point to the truth faithfully but also at a level that challenges but does not shut down my people?

    Here's to tightrope walking!
    And hot tea!!!

  49. I don't suppose there's anyone out there who has the Crossings confirmation curriculum just lying around somewhere who could tell me what the various definitions of faith are on page 22? lol.

    thought not. sigh.

  50. Sorry Teri. I used the denomination's curriculumn after three years of being "forced" to use the former DCE's at previous church and two years with no confirmands.
    Now I have a new one to check out

  51. So the Kid and I set up the screen and the projector and computer but it just doesn't work in our building. We have this odd rood screen (incongruent with the rest of our rather typical New England architecture) that interferes with visibility when the screen is placed in the most logical place. Technology not worth the stress this time.

    The Kid reminded me that I've done this service before (at my previous parish) and I don't need to be so nervous about it. And I know he's right, but I am still nervous.

    Prayers for all of you still writing, and hope tomorrow is a Spirit filled day for all of us. Now I am off to get a good night's sleep!

  52. hi. It's getting close to my bedtime. Just hoping to help out, give support, prayers.

    I'm sorry to say that I do not know what the Crossings confirmation curriculum is.

    well, it's my second sunday as an associate without a senior tomorrow.

    hope the holy spirit has my back.

  53. Wondering how much shorter I could make my sermon with the new member/confirmation part.
    Just saw on news that in my home state(on the coast) they are dumping old tank shells (like empty army tanks, minus all the engine/oil/artillery)in the water. In a matter of months habitats form in these artifical reefs.
    Pretty cool.

  54. Oh, fresh blueberry cobbler with vanilla ice cream, anyone?

  55. hey, I'm feeling a little twilight zoney about my recently retired colleague right now.

    yesterday I did all these communion services that we do every month.

    Today I was talking to someone on the phone and he said, "thank you for coming yesterday." seems that when he talked to the other pastor at his last service, he asked if anyone would be coming in the future and he said, "i don't know."

    Thanks a lot.

    And when someone asked him, who's in charge now, he said, "no one."

  56. Diane -
    I'm sorry he did that. He is projecting his own insecurities about a new venture onto you (imho).

    Have a blessed morning tomorrow.

    Sermon-wise, I have switched tactics and I'm trying to get the ending really solid with the hopes the rest will follow.

    Did we lose day in the middle of the week somewhere?

  57. I have a lot of respect for associates. I don't think I could do it. Being solo was terrifying at first, but I am just astounded at all the "bad senior pastor" stories I hear.

    Watched the news, now really really hoping for a way in soon...really I just need a big fan parked right in front of me and this hot computer.

  58. Diane: ICK. that is so obnoxious--I'm so sorry. I bet you handled it much more graciously than I would have!

    I really am contemplating using the Blackhawks as a way in. I can't even believe I'm thinking that. But it's 1045pm--I have to come up with something ASAP.

  59. yay--a parent from this past confirmation class popped onto FB and was able to give me the info from a book they still had lying around!

    In case you're wondering, some of the definitions they give are: Faith is...
    commitment to God
    seeing as God sees

    The Crossings curriculum (published by Logos) is great, I recommend it highly. They have a new curriculum for children too--we are about to start using it in September. I don't know how it is yet, but it looks good...

  60. Teri - Use the Blackhawks stuff, seriously. Sometimes it is ok to just give them what they want and they will LOVE it.

    (My friend gave me the above pep talk today minus the Blackhawks so I'm with you)

  61. Alright, I'm leaving the party for a few hours in the hopes the Holy Spirit (and adrenaline) will unite with me when I return.

    It will preach as is, and so I am going to give it a rest.

    Good luck all!

  62. I've got 1333 words that more or less make up a sermon. It's not a stellar attempt, but it will do. Going to read through it a bit and do some tweaking, hopefully heading to bed soon.

    Anyone else out there?

  63. semfem--just letting you know that you are not alone this late night...I am an every saturday reader but don't often comment because I...well...lack the techno savvy and am much less creative than most all of you...who I am in awe of, by the way. Anyway, just wanted to let you know that there is another preacher-woman out here in the great beyond with just about nothing for tomorrow...errr..I mean, later today...yikes!!! blessings on your writing...and sleeping!

  64. Thanks anonymous--it's always good to know we're not alone on the long, dark Saturday nights and Sunday mornings. I hope this is your first post of many in the future :)

    I think I'm calling it good and heading to bed with 1300 words exactly. I also remembered a few details that need some work for tomorrow, so if I can get to sleep now, maybe I can do those in the morning.

    Blessings on all pondering, preaching, and proclamation this day. And may the Holy Spirit visit all of us (but especially those who are in great need of something to preach)!

  65. I'm back again if anyone is still here... or back again.

    Searching for a creamy middle to support the two chocolate wafer cookies on either side.... or something.

  66. I think it's better, I'm going to try to get another hour of sleep. It's been awhile since I struggled like this and I have a bad feeling that 8:15 is going to get a sermon that once preached out loud will be 'fixed' for 11.

    Lord, may these words be your Word...

  67. hi guys! I couldn't get back into blogger; kept getting an error message.

    but I wanted to say, just get out there and walk those dogs!

    that's what I'm going to do.

    and rely on the Holy Spirit.

    thanks esp. to Kathrynzj, for the insecurity angle. that helps.

    I wouldn't say he's been a bad sr pastor exactly.

    we all have issues.


  68. well, I managed to put something on the screen before collapsing at time to read it over and see if it's in English. Please, God, let it be good enough that people will see you.


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