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Saturday, June 19, 2010

11th Hour Preacher Party: When Late spills over from Friday to Saturday...

So sorry this is late, we've had a schedule snafu.

I've got Fair Trade coffee brewing, and since I promised coffee cake for a church reception tomorrow, that's underway, too.

Please chime in below, using the comments. And have a strawberry, they're early for Maine, and they're delicious.


  1. There is no longer Jew or Greek, there is no longer slave or free, there is no longer male and female; for all of you are one in Christ Jesus. (Galatians 3:28, NRSV)

    At the church I'm serving the epistle lesson is hugely appropriate, since following worship there is an Annual Meeting, at which the church will vote on being Open and Affirming, a designation in our denomination (United Church of Christ) that indicates a welcome of all people in the life of the church, regardless of orientation or identity. It's a big day.

    It's also a big day at my house, where my youngest is turning 15, and we're giving thanks mightily that although our 19-year-old flew out of a car on Wednesday night, he has only bruises. So let's just say we're a little emotional around here.

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  3. I have a thoroughly mediocre but preachable draft done. I have a busy day ahead of me with a birthday party, a promised swimming trip, and a search (please let it not be a hard one) for printer cartridges for said mediocre sermon. I'll be back for editing after dinner. Hope the crock-pot comes up with something a bit better by then...Oh, I'm doing Galatians...

  4. Me and my bad spelling.

    Anywho...I will be preaching on the Geresane Demoniac, asking the question why did the townspeople ask Jesus to leave when he healed the demoniac and why did Jesus tell the demoniac to stay instead of following him out of town.

    Before I embark on this sermonic adventure I am going to the farmer's market. I'll be sure to pick up some treats to share.

    Ciao for now.

    PS. Songbird congrats on the Open and Affirming vote and on your daughter's birthday and on your son being ok. God is good!

  5. Just having finished VBS this week, tonight is the big ending party. I'm using the themes from each day if VBS as a framework for the sermon. It's really fun how all of the readings for tomorrow fall into the framework very nicely... God's Word is: True, Comforting, Surprising, Life Changing, and for Everyone. I hope it will be playful enough and serious enough.

  6. SB - wow! Lots going on at your place. I'm so glad your son is okay. Happy Birthday to your daughter! And prayers for your church's big vote tomorrow!

    I'm preaching 1 Kings and have nothing written yet, which is a problem because I'm once again solo parenting (dh is out of town) and I've got a wedding this afternoon. I'm very very hopeful that inspiration will strike early and often!

  7. Songbird - So glad there are celebrations at your house! Thanks be to God for birthdays and only bruises.

  8. Thanks Songbird for posting this when I spaced out. OR rather didn't look at my calendar (something I did mention in the Friday Five yesterday, being on time IF I look at my calendar)...sigh. I'll take over from here - let me get you a cup of coffee, 'k?

    ...and, then I have to see what state my sermon is kept rattling around in my brain last night as I tried to sleep...

  9. Hi! love the strawberries. won't be for a couple of weeks here, though.

    I have a funeral today (again). I visited yesterday with a 16 year old who had open heart surgery and another 16 year old with Leukemia. I'm preaching, using the demoniac story to talk about the legions of suffering, evil, etc. that assault us, and the importance of prayer, even though all the suffering is not cast out.

    Songbird, I love your verse. Been thinking about that in my own congregation.

    Also, giving thanks that your son was not hurt badly. How scary!

    And we're having my husband's two sons to barbeque for Father's Day. I'm hoping to get up to visit my own dad in the nursing home sometime after that.

  10. God_Guurrll, my colleague preached a sermon on the text quite along those lines. I don't want to insinuate that you need inspiration, but if you find yourself lacking, this may help.

    I am preaching I Cor. 15 (1st two parts mostly). It's rattling around up there. Once I sit for awhile in my thinking chair, I should be able to pound out something decent.

    I have strawberries, yogurt and granola to share what my niece calls a "par-lay" which, apparently has the added bonus of keeping pirates from killing you on the spot.

    Blessings all.

  11. OK. now that my eyes are open....
    Welcome everyone to the party!

    Songbird, I hope the rest of your day is peaceful and fun, and grateful your son is ok.

    Elastigirl, hope the VBS celebrations go well - we have ours in a few weeks. I love VBS, but it is so much work....

    skoplusone, welcome - sometimes those ok sermons end up being really great - only the Spirit knows....

    Godgrl - I do wish the comment box had spell check....:-) would help me.

    earthchick - I do hope the Spirit strikes and your sermon pours out...cuz you have a lot going on!

  12. Hi Diane and RI, welcome. Prayers for each of you as this day unfolds.

  13. Going with the Galatians, working with an insular congregation. Talking about pigeon holes and labels vs the hard work of getting to know someone. Got the ideas, but still need to get the second half written....

    Plenty of Earl Grey tea to share, -- I bought a case from TJ's last week :) shouldn't have to drive the hour to get back there for a few weeks.

    Then to work on getting things ready for VBS next week!

  14. Welcome Althea, Earl Grey is my favorite tea - usually in the late afternoon with some dark chocolate. Insular church...sigh....

  15. My advice with the insular: love them open and remember we've likely been insular, too, about something along the way.

  16. I'm still struggling with my sermon. I wrote three different starts last night and then slept on it. The Holy Spirit moved in my dreams and I woke with ideas for the least favorite of my three starts and an amusing image of Shrek as the demoniac. To bad I'm not doing the children's sermon!

    Unfortunately, I'm just a little stressed. I'm preaching at 5 and have to be on the road by 3. This preaching at home is really screwing with my usual sermon routine!

    Fresh coffee anyone?

  17. okay, I'm up, I promise.

    It was a dark and stormy night here yesterday, with lightning and thunder hanging around for hours. I was thinking about how the LAST time I preached 1 Kings 19, I'm pretty sure I opened with "it was a dark and stormy night" and how this time I could have pulled it off much better, but alas...

    It's a sunny morning now, bright blue sky and bright green naturally I'm headed to the farmer's market and the grocery store. I'll be back to start on a sermon that *doesn't* play on the classic opening line. at least, that's the theory...

  18. Good Morning Ramona....I don't know your congregation but adults do respond well to images that would work in a children's sermon...many of them may have seen the movie on their own or with kids they know. Hope what ever unfolds happens easily for you.

  19. Hey Teri - yes dark and stormy here too - we lost power for a second, thankfully not long. But, very intense storms....and my kids were out all night, which made for a restless night of sleep for me. (They're grown and can do this, but still).

    Enjoy the farmers market and happy sermon writing.

  20. G'morning all. So glad for SB's 19yo safety. Reading about seriously ill 16yolds makes me realize it is one thing to tell my 80-90 yolds, "we all die sometime" and quite another to face that reality with teens!

    I'm preaching Ps. 42-43. It seems a good idea when worship team met. I have a good exegetical paper from school days that will inform a sentence or two. I made a brief outline before I went to play golf yesterday. (!) Now for real work. I have an artificial deadline of 1:30 when I take the 'boys' to the ballpark to save the parking fee and Metro crowds. If I make it, I get the rest of the day to just ME. (but how likely is this???)

    Glad for the company of 'pals' as always.

  21. I seem to be running ahead this week, very strange for me. In any case, the sermon happened yesterday morning. I am sure it will come out differently tomorrow morning but it fits with what I have been saying for about six weeks now.

    Good luck to all with many obligations today. I am attending a wedding tonight that the groom's family refused to have in an Episcopal Church with anyone - but especially a woman - officiating. It's time to paste on the gracious smile and put away the daggers, eh?

  22. Isn't it almost always true that preaching from Psalms sounds like a great idea until it's time to write the sermon? ;-)

  23. Hi Nancy, and welcome! I do hope you get this day to yourself - how delightful!

  24. Welcome Margaret, I'll be over to read your sermon in a bit....glad you joined us.

    Although I don't do it often I have on occasion really enjoyed writing and preaching a sermon on the Psalms. I sometimes feel though that I've written a long poem :-) instead of a sermon....

  25. Songbird, I feel that way about Psalms, too.

    On to the funeral!

  26. In Portland with my daughter on a magical trip. Beach today but next weeks sermon first -- discipleship & maybe leaving sacristy closet! Depends on pref of interim when o tell him day before of my independent catholic ordination. Prayers appreciated. Also need to do a bit of translation if poss.

  27. I thought I was going to preach on the psalm a few weeks ago but only started there, jumping quickly to Galatians.
    I'd love to see your Shrek sermon, Ramona. I think lots of adults really enjoyed those movies. And I am envious of anyone who can weave a movie into their sermon.

  28. Hey Laura, welcome! Enjoy your day with your daughter.

  29. Greetings all.
    Songbird, there are many gifts in this life. The fact that your family is in celebration mode this day is absolutely one of them.

    I am definitely preacher partying today. I have a lot of the sermon in my head but as Galatians and Luke do their label dance I have yet to put it down on paper.

    However, thou shalt not sacrifice thy family on the altar of the perfect sermon so The Boy and I are hanging out doing this and that. Sadly, I also have a church thing to go to tonight, and that I am not as excited about.

    Happy day and writing all, off to reload on coffee.

  30. Morning, Kathryn...enjoy the day with your son, and hope the night thing is better than anticipated...and that sermon pours out of you.

  31. I love the Galatians quote SB posted, but I think I am preaching on Luke...ideas are still percolating and I need to start writing.

    This is the first Saturday since before Easter that I haven't had other obligations during the day; it would be great if I could get this sermon written and enjoy what looks like a perfect New England summer day.

  32. I referenced the Galatians last week as I preached on welcoming/openness issues as a favour to the Needs Assessment Committee.

    This week I am off lectionary. preqching on the balance point between being at anchor and sailing where the wind takes us. And since it is my second last service here...

  33. In other news, I got up this morning, checked the weather forecast and radar, saw that it was suppposed top stay dry and hung up tghe laundry. 45 minutes later whilst I was cooking pancakes Beloved looks outside and guess what? Oh well, a second rinse never hurt the laundry.

    And tomorrow night is the farewell partyy at the church. THat should be an easy evening right?????

  34. Oh Gord, a farewell party is never easy. I stay in denial at those while my mind tells me to be 'present'. Ha, i'm no good at saying Goodbye.

    RevDrMom, I say every summer that I"m moving to NE. There are no churches of our denomination there now, but I still say it. I love to ski so I even think I can handle the winters. But today is still pretty here, as the humidity moves back in.

    I've got a kernal of my sermon posted at my place. Now to turn that into the sermon. But first, who was sharing some fresh fruit?? I have a few strawberries to add.

  35. Rev Irreverent could you put the whole URL of that sermon on a post. The link you set up didn't work. I need all the inspiration I can get!!!!

  36. Would anyone like some more farm fresh strawberries?

  37. So far the day has included a bike ride interrupted by a blown tire and an ER puppy visit due to what we hope is only a uti.

    Sermon? What?

    Off to hang up a curtain rod. As I think about galatians and labels I wish I could share with my congregation the story of me calling myself an idiot last week while measuring wrong. Today I told The Boy that I was going to fix the curtains and he said, "Be careful you do it right, because you are an idiot."

    There was no malice in it, he just heard me use that label in that context and applied it accordingly.

    OK... back to the previously schedule program - curtain rod.

  38. sorry about that. I stink at technology, which makes it only the more hilarious to me that people at church consider me tech-saavy because I know how to change a powerpoint slide at the last moment.

    Ah, God's people are dear and funny. Thanks be to God or our jobs would be brutal!

    Here's the url:

  39. I Kings has been "home" for the last two Sundays and so Elijah continues for me.

    After tomorrow, I have a Sunday first since the end of November.

    I was able to get a good start on Thursday. Looking at the paralyzing fear of Elijah and how we also can experience the same. How do we "wake up" to the grace of God during those times.

    Fresh cantaloupe to share as well.

  40. KJ! Ha! you are cracking me up!

    Which I need because it's a busy day today - 90th birthday party and houseblessing and lots of ideas but not a sermon word written.

    And, summer is evidently NEVER going to come here!! It's going to be cold and rainy forEVER in the Pacific Northwest! And I'm more than a little fed up with that. Good for the slugs, I guess.

    Hmm, just a leeeeetle big cranky, I guess. Ok, off to work.

  41. I'm back from the farmer's market with kale, asparagus, sweet onions, and blackberries! Oh, and maybe some cookies. (sshhh)

    I'm making asparagus risotto for lunch. who wants some?

    then, i swear, on to sermon writing. for real.

  42. Teri, I got kale in my CSA a week ago and someone posted a recipe for Kale chips. Amazing stuff. Wash and dry the leaves, lay on parchment on a cookie sheet, drizzle with olive oil and salt. (I added a little garlic) even my husband ate them.

    Ok, seriously I'm going to write now.

  43. Struggling along over here. It's such a beautiful day here, all I want to do is spend it with my sons. I had some good thoughts about Elijah earlier in the week, but they seem to evaporated now.

    I'll be leaving for the wedding shortly and then back at it later this afternoon.

  44. Finally done. I have four differnt sermon starts, and two sermons. I've never had to rewrite so much!

    Ok - now for lunch, pack for the trip home, review and print the sermon, feed a friend's cats before I leave town. And I have a 1 1/2 hour drive ahead, and preaching at 5, so I want to leave about 2. Maybe 2:30 will have to do.

    Asparagus risotto sounds yummy! I'm afraid I have to make do with almond butter and apricot jam sandwiches.

    Margaret - I'll gladly share my sermon, - it is about Shrek and happily ever after - but I don't know how to post it on this site. I don't have a blog (yet) or a webpage right now. Facebook and email is the best I can do. So if someone tells me how, I'll post it.

  45. Ahhh. banana pancakes cure all ills. Feeling much bettter now.

    INstead of writing, going for a short bike ride with son, who got New Bike Gloves (a long desired object!) with his allowance money yesterday.

    Then, back for party prep and sermon stuff. See you gals soon.

  46. ok, that was my 5th funeral in two weeks. I'm praying for a little lull right now, as there are other pastoral care concerns that need attention. among other things, a woman who was just diagnosed with this rare disorder, called Jacob-Creutzfeld, or something like that. Anyway, it's awful, and it's fatal.

    I've got a sermon done, but I'm going to run through it a couple of times now and hope it doesn't (ahem) suck.

    Sounds like the party is lively today.

    I have funeral cake to share right now; that's about all, but I'm hungry, so I hope I have more later.

  47. Diane, I hope you get a break! Jacob Creutzfeld IS awful--it's basically the human version of mad cow disease. :-( I'm sorry it's affecting your church family. May there be courage and peace.

  48. welcome everyone who came to the party since I last posted (a few hours ago)....I needed a break from thinking so I went to the gym a good 90 minute work out and now I'm back ready to look at that draft I have....saying something about demons and restlessness pulling us away from God and what happens when we are able to focus our lives on God...(so, that would be Luke)....

    Gord, prayers for your leaving party...good/hard/

    Later I'll have food, have to go to the store first. In the meantime I have tea and homemade chocolate cake.

  49. Home from an interview in another state. It went well, but they are struggling financially and do not have ability to pay the original amount they stated. Kind of sad, as if they do call me now, I will proably say no.
    However, I am one of several, so it might be they consider others first. Sadly, this is the case of many churches. Money is simply not there in lots of churches.
    So, I am home and dealing with dead mice in the church stove...gonna buy a new one.
    Also, lawn care guy hit a small stone that knocked out a window pane in the very, very old church windows. Ugh.
    Oh and i have a sermon to write...yeah.
    Doing the I kings text. Thinking on the silence and the bread and water for E's "strength."

  50. welcome 1-4grace...I fear your experience is indeed all too common. sigh...I hope that you are not put in a position of having to say no to them...that always feels bad.

    I seriously need to spend some time on my sermon but have found many ways to be distracted by being outside on this gorgeous day. They are rare this summer.

    One more errand (grocery store) and then I'll settle in to finish that sermon. really. I will.

    Hope you all are busy enjoying the day and being productive.

  51. Where is everyone? Hopefully out enjoying the day (and rejoicing in only bruises) or busy working with the sermon fairy to finish things up.

    I'm looking at the Psalms (and yes it does always seem such a great idea to preach them and harder to actually write the sermon) and 1 Kings. Playing with the question of "where is God?"

    Got a draft done so I'm heading out for a bit. Back later to edit.

  52. I it too late for a nap? I tried to take one earlier but got interrupted by a phone call. I've been at a church yard sale for a big chunk of the day, and am really not sure where I'm going with either Luke or I Kings.

    Hoping it's going better for all of you...

  53. Mice in the stove!? Oh no!

    I'm making bacon, lettuce, and tomato sandwiches for my husband; may I make more for the crowd?

  54. I love the relatively rare occasions these days when I can pop in at the preacher party for some inspiration. I'm preaching at prison tomorrow, and have a draft ready...supper soon and then I'll be back at it. I love the Gal. passage and may try to incorporate it into the Lord's Prayer sermon I'm doing tomorrow. Several inmates requested I talk about what it means that Jesus called God "Father" and since the majority of them have had, or have been, bad fathers this is challenging! I don't like Father's Day sermons (or Mother's Day ones either) but this seems like an opportunity...

    Back later. As always, I am amazed and blessed by the company of such a diverse, and busy group.

  55. Sermon's done -- OK, except for a little wrap up. Much more God loves us as God's children regardless of the human categories we belong to -- with a little we should do the same for others.

    I had to do a big exegetical paper and sermon on Psalm 42/43 for my final examination by my presbytery. Good strong reassurance message, but not one I'd trot out on an otherwise happy day...

    Now out to enjoy what little is left of the day -- beautiful and Sunny even though it was supposed to rain all day.

  56. Where has the day gone? The guys will be home from the game and I'll still be writing at this rate. Dancing, if the sermon fairy is still hanging out at your place, please send her over here, I need a conclusion. and is there a "pastoral prayer fairy" to write that too?

  57. I sort of accidentally took a nap. Now it's 430 and I still have no words written...

    I was hoping for more of a grace sermon this week, but I think I'm going to end up with a "go on your way" sermon instead. I'm sure I'll work in something about not being alone--that counts as sounding like grace, right?

  58. Hi, I'm preaching on 1 Kings. And it is our Church Anniversary [Uniting Church in Australia] so looking at where is God calling us to be and how would we answer the question God asks Elijah: What are you doing here?
    Starting by talking about what motivates us - fear, appearances or grace. I love readings where the ‘hero’ shows very human characteristics.
    I am impressed that the people who wrote the documents that started UCA didn't just look at combining bits of 3 denominations, but asked where God is calling us to be in this time and place. That fits with God's question to Elijah, so a good opportunity to talk a bit about history behind the UCA.
    Also commissioning new elders and church councillors. And cake to celebrate the UCA anniversary at morning tea.
    It is Sunday morning here, so almost time to leave for worship.

  59. I appreciate more and more all that the RevGals do as I sojourn on my Call in chaplaincy... Praying for all you preachers.

  60. I'm doing Galatians. Baptism + Father's Day: where to begin?

    Talking about our evolving relationship with our fathers - as we grow, we step away from a relationship of hierarchy (Dad above making the law) into a more adult relationship where we receive the gift of freedom. That's what Paul is talking about in way. The Galatians keep trying to buy into the less mature thing (much easier if Dad/God takes all the responsibility by setting up all these laws and such than if I have to figure out how to live in a righteous way). But in our baptism in Christ, we are given a loving challenge by a father who trusts that we can and should live without the confinement of the Law, that we can and should figure out how to live as part of the Body of Christ.

    We look sometimes for recipe-book answers to living in and with God - the categories that make it easy, we think, to figure out how to live our lives. But God, the ultimate loving God who encourages us to free ourselves from the boxes and categories of the old Law, wants us to try, even though, like a teenager at her first job, we may fail. That's the gift and the challenge that every father in the room will recognize - we are loved and trusted to try without training wheels...

    Not a sermon yet, but I hope it will be sometime before tomorrow.

  61. Oh, and I just got back from presiding at my first wedding, and thanks be to God, that sermon went okay. So I've got to get the juices flowing again for tomorrow's service with baptism of an extremely wriggly 18 month old. OOOOOOOOO

  62. mibi, that is going to be an awesome sermon. what a great combo of themes.

    I'm done sermon, came up with an idea for children. (Thanks to "Boredom Busters") and may jot down the flow of the prayer and let the spirit take the rest.

    The guys are taking Metro home so I don't have to drive into town to get them, just to the metro. YAY.

    My best to all as you put on the finishing touches.

  63. Okay, I have a kernel of an idea now, which is WAY more than I had a few hours ago. Whew! I'm thinking about focusing on how sometimes the journey of discipleship seems to take us in circles. Elijah had to go in exactly the opposite direction from where he had fled to do God's work. The man Jesus healed couldn't come with, he had to go back to his community and tell his story. Lots of doubling back and criss-crossing journeys here, not always in the directions first intended, but there is always food (of a a type) for the journey.

    That last bit has made me hungry for dinner though, so I think I'm going to cook up a Greek burger and then (hopefully!) get cracking on fleshing out that kernel of an idea.

    Hope it's going well for everyone else! Glad to see some are finished.

  64. Done. A bit shorter than normal, but we are also celebrating communion, and we have a ton of "opportunities of ministies" to share with those present during worship. I've posted here.

    Lots of good comments and directions this week. Thanks for all the sharing.

  65. Rough draft is done. The lectionary fit so well with my sermon series on grief, change and transition that I was able to relate family systems theory to the gospel.

    Please stop by and comment. I reveal a bit about myself and I want to make sure I come off as forgiving and not condemning.

    Here it is.

  66. hey there friends. between parties. wrote my notes but no time to write it all out. spent a really good hour re-reading "when bad things happen to good people." goodness, what an amazing little book that is and it will help alot. I think this is going to be one of those manuscript-less weeks. But I'll be back to fuss and fiddle in a coupel of hours.

    Semfem, are we gonna be the late niters tonite?

    Hey there Singing Owl! so good to see you! Have fun tomorrow....

  67. Juniper, I might be a late-nighter with you and semfem tonight. It's slow-going over here, and I still have other non-sermon work to do after I finish. ARGH.

    I'm at that desperate Saturday night point of making vows to myself about how I'm going to radically revise my writing schedule so that I can spend beautiful Saturdays like this one with my kids. When Monday rolls around, those vows disappear as soon as all the other urgent matters of the week hit.

  68. well here I am, almost 8pm mu time, and I haven't looked at my sermon since about 9:30 this morning....yes, that's how my day began and has, unless I can wrap it up quickly I'll be around for awhile. I also hope to read other sermons, really I do hope too....we'll see...sigh

  69. Just now sitting down at computer after arriving home from Mission Trip to another state. I am completely exhausted. I looked at the scripture (I Kings) once last Sunday afternoon (translation: I read through it once). We were short volunteers so my "free" time never showed up & thus the laptop was never even turned on.

    The scripture doesn't really go with the experiences of the trip so I can't just "preach" the stories either. ... and I'm hoping the Father's Day swag is here. I won't know until I go to church in the morning because I don't have the energy to find out tonight.

    Come Holy Spirit!

    SB - Giving thanks for healing and celebrations.

  70. Vicar, honestly if I were you, I'd be inclined to ditch the readings altogether and just preach the mission trip. But if you need a hand...maybe think about how big a role traveling plays for Elijah in that 1 Kings reading?

  71. I have 1000+ words and no conclusion...I think I'm going somewhere, but it's hard going.

    Day was interrupted by some intense conversations with the Kid who has some academic issues to work out this summer...sigh. It's so hard when your kids make life more difficult than it needs to be.

    I don't want to be part of the late night party, but I may be...hope the preaching fairy and the Holy Spirit are moving for all of us!

  72. I am with semfem Vicar. Which is more relevant, trying to create something to match Scripture readings chosen by other people in another place or hearing about the Mission Trip?

    OK< I need a poll. Which is more important in faith life (and why)? beign rooted and grounded and anchored or blowing whichever way the wind takes us?

  73. semfem, seriously considering that "switching" option! And, traveling fits even better than you would think because our work sites were significantly father away this year AND our kids loved it because they got to know each other better while they traveled

  74. Checking in as a late nighter. Son is in bed, church obligation is checked off the list and I am hoping to focus and be near a 'happy place' by midnight.

    Vicar, seriously... mission trip. travel. Don't make me come over there. ;)

  75. Gord, I completely hear you. On a side note, our "theme" was re.define.ed -- that is probably the perfect segue for a switch. I'm going to search old sermons first though because I think I can tell the stories better when I'm not as exhausted as I am.

  76. Well then Vicar, I think you could go either way (just talking about the mission trip, or jumping off from Elijah's travels and then talking about the mission trip). Just don't make it more difficult than it needs to be. :)

    I'll be a late nighter here, as usual...trying to think of a way to start. Always the hardest part for me.

  77. Just wanted to be #75. No more done on sermon yet!

  78. okay, so my sermon needs a beginning.


    by which I mean, if I had a beginning, I could probably write a sermon.

    the trouble is, I'm busy overidentifying with Elijah's overdramatic self and his need for retreat and renewal. Pretty sure preaching my own issues is not really the point...

    What I really want to do right now? Watch Glee. I have "Defying Gravity" in my head and I could use a little Idina Menzel action, you know?

  79. Vicar, yes, totally - the mission trip - excellent idea!

    And, with those who have many words but no ending...that would also be me...and sadly I've been at this same state all day. I think I'll post it and see if it looks different on the blog...or maybe you all, if you are so inclined, can point me to an ending...

    I know, that's really lame...but here it is

  80. also, for possibly the first time ever, the music isn't helping. We have the indigo girls "Closer to Fine" at the early service (perfect!) but the two later services have instrumental special music (perfect in its own way!). and we're a test-site for potential new hymns for a new hymnal, and one of those is debuting tomorrow too (all 4 we were sent for summer are...of dubious thematic relevance...).


  81. Ok. now that that is posted....I'm going to take a quick shower and then get chocolate cake (homemade) and ice cream for everyone. I'll be right back!

  82. Right there with you Teri, except I ended up with an episode of Grey's Anatomy. :)

  83. I think this quote sounds like Elijah and Mission Trips. Do I think that because I'm too tired? What do you think?

    "The uphills are lung-breaking, the downhills faith-stretching. In both God is with me. I am my best when I can't make it alone."

  84. Sure! Sounds like Elijah climbing Mt. Horeb.

  85. i'm hopping on here for a few to tie up some loose ends and make my way hopefully through 2 more pges to the finish line. preaching on elijah and the search for God's voice in the loud, big things--without success and finally arriving at the still, small voice. talking about people's yearning for signs and wonders. title is here's your sign. hmmm.

  86. thanks semfem

    I think that quote may be the bridge for Elijah & Mission Trip together

  87. Vicar, I think it is the bridge!

    Pastor Robin, welcome to the late night party edition...

    so, I have cake.....

  88. Wow, Teri. Pretty cool to be a test site for the new hymnal. Of course, I have folks complaining about the "new" hymns in the old-new hymnal(aka the blue one).
    I am the host for Father's Day tomorrow and am in the midst of pre-packing in anticipation of moving end of next month.
    Still needing to finish Elijah off, uh, the sermon that is!

  89. thanks! and thanks for the cake!

  90. argh... forgot I had a verbatim due before tomorrow. Off to finish it. Praying I don't get paged until it's done!

  91. YAY cake! Thanks mompriest!

    Oh yeah, there was a sermon around here somewhere, just waiting to be written...

    Actually, I do have an idea for an opening, but it's kind of emotional...and I'm not sure if it would be too much of MY stuff...but maybe I will start with that (just to get started) and see what happens...

  92. unfinsymphony, glad you're here and good luck on the verbatim (oh how that word brought back flashbacks!). we should be praying for you, too, and all chaplains late at night!

  93. I just hit print...I've stared at it so long I'm no longer sure it makes any sense at all. We'll see how it looks in the morning.

    Chocolate cake and ice cream sound delicious!

  94. Oh mercy, y'all. I need to find a broom tree to pull myself up under and snooze awhile. This sermon is not finishing itself! GAH!

    Glad others are finishing up and are on to cake and ice cream. Jealous over here!

  95. ok, so what i had was 3 pages but there's no connection. i have a beginning and sight for the end but stuck under the darn broom tree with elijah in the middle. grrr. to bed or not to bed?

  96. While sitting under a tree and taking a nap are what I'd prefer to do, I think I'll choose to baptize this sermon prep with a shower. Keep partying, I'll be back.

  97. Blessings to all, done and undone...

    I'm working with Elijah's story, Psalm 42, and the Galations reading--or perhaps I should say they're working with me, as tomorrow I'll be bearing witness by telling my own story to our newly Open & Affirming church. This is the second-to-last Sunday of my internship there and this band of faithful folk has been wanting to "implement" their O&A status but they've had trouble "putting faces to the issues."

    I'm excited and a bit nervous--this is essentially a "coming out sermon" although I've never really hid the fact that I have a partner of the same gender as myself. But witnessing to the power of a fully welcoming, fully affirming church is something I definitely feel called to do!

    Like many folks, I'm feeling a connection to Elijah--sometimes you think you've planted your feet firmly, and God starts moving the landscape around. Sometimes, you find yourself seeking a way through the wilderness and you discover that you haven't chosen the road--the road chooses you! In the midst of it all, we move in the strength of the food sent by angels...

  98. Gord - I'm sure by now you've found your answer but I'd be tempted to talk about needing roots and wings (think Linnea Good's song)... although that's likely mixing metaphors for you

    My sermon's entitled "What's in a name?" and is focused on the Luke passage. It's been done before, but where I'm at it's particularly pertinent as the Truth and Reconciliation Commission's first National Event (about residential schools and their impact on Indigenous Peoples) has just wrapped up and my congregation is comprised of folks who have been directly affected by this.

  99. Um, stupid question. How exactly do y'all pronounce Baal?

    I am always going back and forth between what I grew up hearing (long a, as in "bale") and what seems more accurate (more like "bahl"). What do y'all do?

  100. first delivery done - two more tomorrow. we're close to 100 on the comment count!!

  101. Actually, you were 100, ElastiGirl. Woohoo!

  102. Hahaha, SB. You are either going to have to transcribe that for me phonetically, or give me some of what you're drinking. ;)

  103. Just think sheep, you'll be all set.

  104. off to read sermons, but Vicar please make KJ come here!!

  105. I always say, bay-all...

    and whoohoo, now that we are over 100 and we've had chocolate cake and vanilla ice cream and my sermon, for what it is, is printed and posted, I'm gonna call it a night.

    It's been a wacky day, for sure, but I've enjoyed spending most of you with all of you. Hope the rest of the night goes well.

    And happy sermonating tomorrow...

  106. SB, I love you. Sheep I can think, that's for sure.

    OTOH, you and mompriest are making me realize there are even more ways to pronounce it than I realized!

  107. Oh where oh where has my sermon ending gone? Oh were oh where can it beeee?....

  108. earthchick--I think the advice I always give scripture readers fretting about foreign words holds here --choose how you will say it, say it with confidence, and few listeners will know the difference (OTOH if you say it tentatively they may wonder).

    back to shine--perfect! I had planned on Garth Brooks' "The River" for special music but Linnea works so much better. Maybe it is mixing metaphors, or maybe it is broadening the image (or both).

  109. Thanks, Gord. That's the same advice I give to readers, too. It just suddenly struck me that I've been saying it both ways in my head all day and I wondered which way I'd be going with in the morning.

    Which gave me a perfect opportunity to procrastinate a bit more by polling all of you folks! ;)

  110. for what it's worth, the pronunciation guide I give the lay liturgist says "BUH-all". with a glottal stop.

  111. I'm back.
    No need for fanfare... ;)

  112. Grew up saying Bale, now saying Buh al. that I've added nothing to that discussion, I am headed for bed and hoping for ending inspiration in the a.m.

    Blessings, Gord, as you end and head toward whatever comes next.

  113. umm, I just made the opening of my sermon an illustration from Glee.

    Does that mean the last two hours could be called sermon prep?

  114. Prayers for your "coming out" sermon, MC! Just watching local news reports of a gay pride march and the bru-ha-ha it created with the local conservative clergy.
    Stil lshaking my head over the "pastor" who talked about how they were trying to show "them" the love of God. Uh, they do this by shouting angry protest and waving anti-gay signs? Okay...
    Anyhow, I hope all goes well.
    I am closing in on an ending. I have 1011 words and am ready for a hot shower to baptize my end work.
    Trying to connect it to present day and seeming silence.
    Storms coming our way soon looks like. Kansas is getitng hit now.
    \Prayers for those there.
    Here comes the hot shower and a conditioning treatment for my hair.

  115. hi all - I'm back....

    gord - are you still on the question? fwiw - I used to be a blow where the wind blows kind of gal and now am more rooted. I would say second is more faithful for me, because the first was really an excuse to get distracted by any shiny thing that crossed my path. But, some people use rootedness as a way to keep their blinders on and use familiar rituals as a way to keep God at arm's length. Sooo, I'd go with a big It Depends on which one gets God more in the mix.

  116. oh, yeah. sermon? what sermon?

  117. Calling it done for tonight. Not wild about my ending but at least I've got something down that I can revise in the morning. Now for shower+Sunday school prep. See y'all on the flipside!

  118. I'm 537 words in and already weeping uncontrollably with this opening illustration. I don't know if I can do this!

    Usually if I get emotional writing the sermon, I can get it out of my system and be fine in the morning...but I don't know if I can this time.

  119. okay, i posted a sermon...complete with Glee illustration and a title different from the one in the bulletin. (it happens)

  120. I'm falling asleep at the computer. I have an outline, kinda. That will have to do.

    Blessings on your Sunday

  121. I went to bed and have come back. Wow, I haven't done this in a long, long time. Too much other stuff on my mind this week.

    It is now or... well, it durn well better be NOW.

  122. semfem, I hope 2+ hours later things are better.

  123. hey there late niters --

    ok, definately preaching from notes not manuscript tomorrow. got lots to say, hope it hangs together pretty well.

    blessings to you all on your preaching and etc.

  124. MC, blessings upon you. Truly.

    I have stopped the battle and reworked an oldie but goodie (umm, good enough). Perhaps this is what the Spirit wanted all along, I don't know. I just know that one way or the other She gets what she wants.

    Good night all and may that same Holy Spirit have all of our backs.

  125. I fell asleep at the computer and in my it's time to finish this sucker off. I was mostly done before I fell asleep. I just need to do a bit of polishing and check the ending.

    Falling asleep with a hot computer on your lap is not exactly comfort. Ugh.

    Glad it appears that everyone else is done.

  126. Okay, the polishing is done and I have a brand new ending that I think is much better. It's still too long, but I'm just going to have to hope that's okay since there is such a dramatic story at the beginning.

    Hope everyone else has their final edits come smoothly! I'm signing off for now to get a little bit more sleep (???).

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

  127. So the party went long into the night and early morning....I too spent the night pondering my sermon in my sleep and have a new(ish) ending....thanks to some thoughts by Elasti-girl....anyway, Semfem, I hope the preaching goes well and not too emotional. I hope everyone has a great day! And later, a holy nap....


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