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Saturday, July 03, 2010

11th Hour Preacher Party: Fireworks Edition

Good morning, gals and pals! (or, good middle-of-the night, if that's when you are reading.) Over here when I dwell, this Sunday is a rare occurrance: the national independence day holiday actually falls on Sunday. The dilemma is: how much should this occasion influence preaching?

The gospel for this weekend is the sending of the 70; Paul concludes his letter to the Galatians and includes paradoxical advice; Elisha heals Naaman the Syrian. Take a gander at a great discussion of the texts here.

So, besides sermonizing, what are you up to today? Are you planning parties? Planning family reunions? Planning fireworks? Are you planning any sermonic fireworks? That would be interesting too!

I've got blueberry pancakes here, some orange juice (we need our five fruits and vegetables), fair trade coffee and conversation. I'm eager to host and welcome you and whatever goodies you'd like to share.
Fireworks are from here.


  1. We don't follow the lectionary, but we're doing a version of lectio continua this summer, blitzing through the minor prophets at the rate of one book per week.

    I agreed to take on Obadiah for Sunday so that our pastor could have the weekend off, and was, at first, grateful to have drawn the shortest of the minor prophets, allowing me to preach something resembling a normal sermon rather than an overview lecture.

    Then I read Obadiah.

    Turns out, it's one of the most rabidly nationalistic texts in the Hebrew Bible. And I get to preach it on the most rabidly nationalistic day in the American calendar. Fun.

    Also, we're having communion, and I'd like the sermon to connect to that.

    And we're taking the summer off from children's programming, so I'm supposed to make it "family friendly." (Which means, probably most of all, keep it short.)

    I am not panicking yet, even though I don't even have a draft. But it's a bit more of a challenge than I realized I was getting myself in for.

  2. I'm completely off lectionary this summer- didn't mean to be, but for the most part that's where I've been.

    This week I'm using Hebrews 11:8-16 and John 8:31-39. My sermon title is
    Visitors in an Alien Land.

    I intend to explore a bit about nationalism, immigration and most of all that we are still looking for a country of our own.

    While we are here on earth and living in this country (and grateful to be living here)founded on the belief that God has endowed us with "certain unalienable rights" we are still visitors as this is not our home.

    I intend to touch on a comparison of the passion in which we display our flags, pray for our soldiers,and pass on patriotic emails against (or along with) the passion we have for the country we are longing for- our heavenly home.

    I am sure that there will be little American flags all over the place as the lady who decorates each week will be sure to have them ready! I won't "disrespect" the flag, but hope to gently remind (during the service- perhaps children's time) that the cross is the symbol of our true home.

    Now to get it on paper- or at least in outline...

  3. Hi folks, it's been a wee while since I popped in - the PhD is beginning to take over my life.

    This is rather late for me when it comes to sermon prep. My normal rule of thumb is to be done on Friday... sigh.
    No national festivities here in Scotland to consider and as ever, I'm on lectionary.
    I've been thinking about the instructions Jesus gave to the 70, but specifically the first words they are to use: peace be to this house. The message of the Prince of Peace is that his disciples use words of peace. What does it mean to be speakers of peace in a world full of restless disquiet? That's the question I'm pondering this morning.

  4. Nik, what a great question!
    I love the Naaman story and will tell it a la BBT in Home by Another Way - she sees him in a far different light than I do, though - before talking about Luke and what stuff we take with us when we are sent out. Are we more like Naaman, laden with pride and self-worth along with worldly junk, or do we go out with a partner and not much else, preaching peace without preaching self?

    No blueberry pancakes here. I am off to the farmers' market to see if VA corn is in so we can have creamed corn at our family reunion tonight. Then I'll head back over the mountain to NC and my family. It is so good to see them every year.

  5. welcome, Rachel, Daughter and Nik! glad you are here this morning.

    Rachel -- I'll be very interested in how this goes for you. but what an intriguing idea, working through the minor prophets.

    Daughter -- I like your idea. I'm doing some of your ideas, but with the gospel from the lectionary.

    Nik -- like your idea. let us know how it goes! (I try to be done by Friday, too.)

  6. and good morning to you too, Margaret. hope you can have creamed corn for dinner!

  7. I'm just about 1/2 way done with my sermon. I got stuck and didn't push through to finish so I'm disappointed about that.

    I'm disappointed because my name was submitted to a congregation, but they declined to interview me.

  8. Diane, thanks for hosting and hang in there. I had that happen (first I was told they weren't ready, when I checked back the 'had someone in mind') and yet it would not have been the fit I ended up with.

    Nik, how does one do a PhD and preach? Please tell me what magic pills you take?

    Rachel you made me laugh. You have your hands full, prayers and blessings.

    I'm at our Annual Conference, finishing up my year as Ministers' Chair today and getting ready to preach to conference on Tuesday. I saw all the chairs being set up and caught my breath. Yikes, Back to learning the sermon so I can NOT be tied to the paper. whew

    Pulling covers over my head....

  9. good morning, Nancy! pulling the covers back up actually sounds like a good idea.

    for some reason I'm avoiding writing the last half of the sermon, but I'm preaching it at 5 tonight so I guess I'd better.

    any good children's messages?

  10. I am off-lectionary this morning. Struggling with a children's sermon. (Sermon is a re-hash of an old sermon....they were a last minute request and I am leaving on vacation FrOm the church!)

    Children's sermon on Acts 16:16-34 anyone?

  11. I am off-lectionary this morning. Struggling with a children's sermon. (Sermon is a re-hash of an old sermon....they were a last minute request and I am leaving on vacation FrOm the church!)

    Children's sermon on Acts 16:16-34 anyone?

  12. welcome, skoplusone! have a pancake. I don't have a children's sermon for you off-hand, but let's see what we can do.


  13. hello preacher sistahs and brothahs,

    I've decided to new up an old sermon I preached a couple of years ago. I've been preaching about the kingdom of God the last few Sundays from the lectionary, so I thought I'd bring in a sermon from the gospel of Matthew that speaks about how this kingdom will spread. Like a batch of weeds,like a computer virus, like a bad investment strategy. I'll have my sermon up on my blog later on today if you are curious.

  14. half-way there... now stuck, so time for late lunch and a cup of tea...

    Nancy, how do I do a PhD and preach...?
    badly, I suspect, lol!!! :)

    Chicken pasta salad and pot of earl grey to share... help yourselves

  15. God_Guurlll -- that sounds intriguing. I'll be looking for that one!


    coffee, anyone?

  16. Squeeee I'm done with the rough draft.

    Please feel free to stop by and read "What You Talkin' Bout Jesus?"

  17. Yes, coffee, please!! I've already had two cups but could certainly use more.

    I'm preaching Luke and focusing on the shaking off of dust, looking at the blessing of failure and how when we follow Jesus and dream big, failure and rejection are inevitable.

    In the process of my sermon prep, I discovered an almost entirely plagiarized sermon online, copied from a well-known colleague. Ugh.

    I have no 4th of July prep to do, yay. It will be a low-key afternoon for us. We'll be pulling out the grill for the first time all season! We have traveled so much this spring/early summer, and there has been so much rain, that we really haven't had a chance to get it out till now!

  18. earthchick -- I think I might need to hear your sermon.

    hear's another cup for ya.

  19. Getting a late start this morning - we went to a drive-in movie last night and I didn't get to sleep until 3. Lots of fun though!

    But I woke up with lots of ideas. I told my son the Holy Spirit visits me in my sleep! LOL! I'm preaching on Luke and my original idea was to talk about hospitality and how the gospel is shared around the table, and on our way. Change of plans.

    The congregation I am supplying at has been a fairly regular supply for the last couple of months. They are very small (worship about 25) and very demoralized, and don't know how they can grow in their small town/rural community. I'm going with Jesus' 10-step mission plan - ala Culpepper via Brian Stoffergen at Crossmarks. What does it look like to be the 70 sent ahead of Jesus today? The fields are ripe for harvest, do we see the fields, that sort of stuff.

    I'll probably not include the 4th, except in the greeting and in prayers. I'm still in the very early stages.

  20. Ramona, sounds good.

    Diane, I need to hear my sermon, too! Thanks for the cuppa.

  21. I rarely go off lectionary but I am this week, doing the propers for July 4 instead of 6 Pentecost. So I am preaching on Matt. 5:43-48.

    I don't really do "patriotic" in church, but since July 4 is on Sunday, my congregation would be upset if we didn't do something so I am trying something novel: I'm using a liturgy from the first authorized prayer book for the American Episcopal Church--my parish was founded in 1797 and that is the prayer book they would've used. I'm trying to make the church look as much as I can as it would have then, too--which means no flowers or altar hangings or crosses or candles, and instead of alb and chasuble I'm wearing cassock, Geneva gown (my academic robe from a previous life) and preaching bands. (And hoping the AC is working well, too.) We're singing a couple of old hymns that are in the "national songs" section, but not the national anthem, and there will be no flag waving. I have no idea how this will go over, but it's been sort of fun preparing for it.

    So I'd like to tie my sermon to the Declaration of Independence if possible--how we as individuals and as a nation are still striving to be "perfect as our father in heaven is perfect" in terms of living up to the ideal of "all men are created equal." Or something like that.

    All that said, I'd be surprised if there is a big crowd tomorrow. And I am off to the city after church for a couple of days off w/ the Kid who is working there this summer.

    No goodies here; I mostly live off Lean Cuisine and cereal these days :(

  22. This comment has been removed by the author.

  23. Prayers to you Rachel - I thought I was in a tough spot!

    My first 4th of July at the congregation and I'm diving in, baptism by fire. I'm going with the Naaman story and emphasizing that God reached beyond national "lines" - that God is a God beyond those distinctions.

    Our ladies that make all the liturgical banners informed me on Wednesday that they have a new banner for Sunday - and a matching parament for the pulpit that are red, white and blue, and say "One Nation Under God," on them. Being only 10 months into this appointment and seeing as how the senior minister is conveniently out of town I haven't done much in response to the banner and such. Only want to create so many fireworks on Sunday AM...

    A friend of mine said it this way... "I find worship services on patriotic holidays particularly challenging, keeping focus on a messiah who challenged empire."

    My goal is to emphasize the hope that God is the God who sees beyond national lines and boundaries, and to be careful I'm not spewing my complete dislike for things like the banner and the assumption that the US is a "Christian Nation" and completely blessed by God. I'm just not sure the congregation is good at separating their nationalism from their faith. I fear that's a product of the south - at least to a certain degree...

    Scrambled eggs, toast and an orange to start the day...

  24. Welcome, PeaceBabe, Rev Dr. Mom and Ramona! PeaceBabe, sounds like you have some fireworks planned. I've been avoiding the second half of my sermon, the half where I talk about our ultimate allegiance to God, not to nation. hmmmm.

    Blessings on your preparations.

    Here, it sounds like it's going to rain all day tomorrow. Maybe even starting tonight.

    ok, so I gotta stop avoiding the allegiance part...

  25. Sorry to hear that Diane--their loss!

    Good luck dealing with a worship environment I would find challenging too, PeaceBabe.

    Off tomorrow, but exploring future preaching opportunities: i.e. collaring up and walking into the local progressive/dissident Catholic community to see how they feel about a female priest. Positive, probably, though present rota to the best of my knowledge is all male.

    Working ahead on next week's Good Sam sermon for a house church with two wonderful women priests in a city an hour and a half from here. We are building a relationship and, if I am reading the signals right, very slowly and quietly beginning to discern a possible affiliation. They and their layfolks were pretty traumatized by their last jurisdiction (the one I was grappling with last fall).

    So I will be combining Augustine's approach to Good Sam (it's God/dess in Christ who comes to us to heal and save us when we are beaten up and helpless by the side of the road) and Pamela Cooper-White's (Good Sam helped when others wouldn't--but also shared the load with innkeeper, didn't codependently abandon his own needs and responsibilities cause of the crisis, etc.) We are called to ever more deeply know divine love "already on our lips and in our heart" (Deuteronomy--first reading in Catholic lectionary paired with Good Sam) and enabling us to be healed wounded healers giving and receiving healthy help.

    Yummy leftover stew to share for lunch here.

  26. Welcome Bishop Laura! thanks for the tidbit on the Good Sam. (I'm preaching next week, too.)

    I am almost there, I think.

    how about others?

  27. Talking about Burden Bearing in the church with Paul and the Galatians.
    Trying to get some mojo going, but it is hot and humid out and not much happening.
    I am giving a nod to the holiday with one patriotic hymn, but also going with the regular program of communion and all. May not have 20 people there, but we will have worship

  28. Yay! I believe I have discovered the crux of my Obadiah sermon. Thanks for the encouragement, preaching friends.

  29. Sitting on my front porch with my laptop and a WW Mocha Popsicle (really quite good--anyone want one?). It is so nice out; I wish I could just play. But I only have half a sermon, and I have laundry that I've been procrastinating about.

    Quiet here at the preacher party today--is everyone getting ready for July 4 celebrations?

  30. Not much sermonating going on. I suddenly started feelling sick, so I took a nap. I don't feel much better, but there's still a sermon to write, so I need to get moving.

    I guess I'll browse the medicine cabinet to see if I have anything to allievate the nausea. I have a feeling that it's going to be a late night sermonwriting fest. It's a good thing that I have a strong enough outline in mind that I could probably preach from notes if I have to.

    I've got a pot of chamomile tea steeping.

  31. 1-4 Grace, welcome! we may do some burden-bearing for the children's message tomorrow. if there ARE any children at church.

    Rachel, YAY! hope you share your take on Obadiah with us.

    I'm about to print. Not satisfied with what I've got, but I guess this one is going to be the "early edition." Tomorrow perhaps, for the faithful few who gather, it will be Different.

  32. I'm here, plugging along. It's such a gorgeous day here, maybe I'll go work outside too, Rev Dr! I took a nice long (much longer than planned) walk midday and it was just heavenly out.

    I'm further along on the sermon than I have been at this point lately, and I'm hoping that bodes well for how the rest of the day goes.

    Okay, back to it!

  33. Ramona, I'll be tweaking tonight, so we'll be here for you.

  34. yes, I want a popsicle. now, back to printing the "early edition."

  35. The current issue of the United Methodist Interpreter magazine has some thoughts on flags and patriotic music in church.

  36. I'm a bit late to the party (I've always been a RevGals stalker and never a RevGals commenter!), but I was encouraged to hear Backwoods Rev (on Tues) and Daughter (today) say that they are preaching about immigration.

    My church this summer (I'm a seminary intern... new to this whole preaching thing!) is a mostly-Hispanic-immigrant congregation and so I'm going to extend the Kings text to verse 17... the move from a God only of a particular place (why Naaman wants two mule-loads of earth) to a God over all the earth... We need to cross borders (both to the muddy waters of the Jordan and also leaving behind our little collections of dirt) in pursuit of wholeness.

    It sounds a little bit like Peace Babe's sermon, except I think that my community will be much less offended! Good luck with the flag-waving!

    Since as I post this it's mid-afternoon in Appalachia, I'm offering some sweet ice tea :-D

  37. welcome, Peregrinaje! happy to hear that you are preaching on immigration. My sermon touches on that, but not extensively. I have an immigration sermon from a few years back.

  38. and oh, by the way, the tea sounds delicious.

  39. I have a draft which I'm going to let sit for a bit and then revisit for editing. It's a little short but the liturgy we're doing is long, so it will all work out (I hope).

    I"m feeling very drowsy...perhaps a nap is in order. Sure wish I had a hammock!

  40. Sigh, it isn't pretty, but it's done and you'll find it here.
    And now for a very late dinner!
    Hammock sounds a fabby idea :)

  41. YOU GUYS!

    I'm so glad you are here. My family is here ready to get have an afternoon of loafing and fishing, and I am in the office, feeling sorry for myself for having to work today - but here you are all to keep me company! Yeah! Thanks,

    Ok, so I'm on the theme of "freedom" and reading the galatians from last week, and the gospel from this week and talking about the freedoms promised by Christ in Luke 10:

    Freedom from possessions (no sandals or backpack)
    Freedom from violence (no walking stick, Peace be on this house)
    Freedom from mindless busyness (stay in one house)
    Freedom from the tyranny of opinion (shaking the dust from your feet)

    What do you think? Will that preach?

    And childrens time ideas welcome!

    I just came back from camp, which you think would mean I'd have tons of stories, but as so often happens in intense situtations like that, you kind of had to "be there." Not sure any of that will preach without so much explanation it's not worth it.

    Thanks Diane for getting us going and sorry about the disappointing decline. Too bad for them! Great q, Nik, thank you. And I have no snacks either - camp food = dessert every meal! So now I'm back to some real eating....

  42. Hi all,
    Tomorrow is my first Sunday at my new church. My sermon is finished because I've had months to think about it. Since it is July 4 and this is (or at least was) a country church and I still need to introduce myself, I'm preaching on spiritual freedom and sharing a bit of my faith story. I'm covering the patriotic part in children's time when we talk about seeing our flag and praying with thanksgiving that we live in a place where we can worship and talk about God freely, and also praying for those who do not have that freedom. I'm also talking a bit at the end of excercising our freedom by sharing our faith stories with others.

    Prayers ascending for each of you.

  43. Hi folks! I'm missing you this summer, but also having a great time with a whole new appreciation for Saturdays withOUT sermon prep. I'm even considering declaring my Wednesdays as writing days to see if I can continue this feeling when I get back in the pastor/preacher saddle. Maternity leave is 6 weeks over, 6 weeks left. All is going well.

    I'm heavily involved in the PC(USA) General Assembly this week, although not there today. Didn't want to abandon my husband with the "big kids" (5 and 3 year olds) if I didn't need to, but I will be glued to the computer screen watching the moderatorial election tonight.

    Anyway, blessings on you all as you preach a delicate Sunday (at least in the US).

  44. Checking in a bit late here as well. Sunday AM is well in-hand. We've been off lectionary this summer so I'm preaching on heaven in the AM

    I'm not acknowledging 4th of July at all, really. If asked, I generally say one of two things:
    a. We worship God and are grateful for country. I don't want to do anything that might cause us to confuse the two.
    b. If an Iraqi Christian visits our church this morning, I want him/her to be welcomed by virtue of shared faith rather than alienated by virtue of nationality.

    But I am here to brush up my evening service. Preaching through the Psalms, my topic is the imprecatories! I have a ton of great quotes and no outline.

  45. Someone earlier asked about children's sermon -- I am using my time with the kids to pray the morning prayer, using our hands.

    Our thumb is closest to us (yeah, I know, sort-of) so we pray for those closest to us.
    Our index finger helps us to point, so we pray for all the people who point us in the right direction.
    Middle finger (insert joke here) is the biggest finger so we pray for those with big responsibilities.
    Ring finger is our weakest finger so we pray for those who are weak.
    Pinky is the last and we should think of others before ourselves but we should still pray for ourselves.

    It's not specific to anything in particular so it's easy to use whenever you are hard up on ideas...

  46. Been pegging away a bit here and there. It's amazing how just by writing a few minutes on one point, and coming back later and writing on the next point, etc. can result in a whole sermon - well mostly. No transitions and no ending yet.

    Yogurt for dinner tonight - cherry cobbler flavored. It's so hot, and we're trying to not run the AC, so actually a light meal is about all I want.

    I've got some key lime yogurt too if anyone wants some.

  47. I've been in denial most of the day, sleeping in, unpacking, doing laundry, finishing my book, all of these things--but not doing any sermon writing. Am preaching off-lectionary on the Galatians 5 text from last week as well as John 8:31-36. We declared it "Freedom Sunday," which while it sounds a bit scary, I am actually looking forward to.

    Time to dig up my approval sermon from 2005 on this very topic and see if any great insight lurks there...

  48. juniper -- your sermon idea totally rocks. I wish I had thought of it.

    more later. I'm going to chapel to do the early edition.

    Welcome to all.

  49. reverend irreverent, love the children's idea, I'll keep it for another time.
    Juniper, I like what you are doing with freedom.
    Sunday morning here, almost shower time and off to worship - children recapping the Elijah and Elisha series, then we are thinking about our own faith journey. all the children from Sunday School, all 11 of them, are coming, and leading in various places - hope it comes together.

    porridge to share [it's winter]

  50. Thanks for the encouragement. I'm going for it! But have to make 2 (quick?) pastoral calls first, so will check back in later.

    I'm going with something similar to midlife rookie (good luck by the way on your first day!) for childrens time (although, let's be honest, I'm pretty sure my son will be the only child in church tomorrow, poor kid). but rev irrev, I'll keep your kids time for some other week - that's a good one.

    Sherev! good to see you! You can still drop in, even if you are a Weds sermon writer - we will not boo and hiss you :)

  51. Good golly - so many distractions today - including preparations for a funeral for next week...not to mention the holiday weekend festivities....but at last I think I have a draft...Finding God I may change the title, but it's what I have for now. Comments appreciated...Now I'm going to make some tacos for dinner then I'll be back to read other sermons...I hope the day is going well for all y'all

  52. I keep having cheering revelations. This moment's is that since it is communion tomorrow (which I totally forgot but Dear Church Woman did not!) my sermon can/should be really short.

    Ok, calls all done, now 2 errands on the way home and then dinner and family time and I'll be back tonight. But I got a good outline, so feeling good. Hope you all are in a good place, too.

  53. hi, just done with "early edition", people liked it but I'm not satisfied, so may be tweaked.

    I'll also be back in a bit to read others' sermons.

    Anything I can get for you? Fried chicken? Potato salad? Brats?

  54. Mmmm, brats!

    I am so SO close to done. Last paragraph, I think, but I just can't seem to nail it. I thought I knew how I was going to end, and now it's not quite working. Hoping it'll come soon....

  55. Ribs here to share with Montgomery Inn sauce (famous in southern Ohio), courtesy of my thirteen year old. And dark chocolate, nicely slightly soft from gentle summer heat, for dessert or late night energy.

    Read some more powerful patristic exegesis on Good Sam--the four volume Sunday Sermons of the Great Fathers from Ignatius Press, despite the archaic and sexist translations, is a real treasure. Started the sermon with a bang that will really fit this community, I think, and that's enough for this week so writing, and internet, sabbath starts soon. Will visit people before logging off though.

    Hang in there, all, and blessings on the night's planning and the morning's worship.

  56. The cream corn was very good. My mom and I clipped and "milked" it so we had a good visit while we did that.
    The sermon hasn't changed since this morning. My uncle who is a retired Methodist minister asked me if I had my sermon texts ready for tomorrow. When I told him I don't write them down anymore, he said, "Yes, I heard you were doing that now and preaching from the floor like a Baptist." I assured him that msot Baptists would be offended by my liberal Episcopal leanings not to mention my even wearing a collar. :-)
    Ain't family great?!

  57. I finally got my ending and I'm calling it done. I am uncommonly happy with this one, which I hope doesn't mean it stinks! (since so often I am not happy with something and it turns out to go over well)

    Best to the rest of you! Preach on, y'all!

  58. SheRev good to hear from you!

    I had quite the nap this afternoon due to a late night at a concession stand with rain delay effects followed by an early morning of parade festivities.

    Tomorrow's text for me is the Naaman one but we also have VBS songs from our children.

    The General Board of Discipleship for the United Methodist Church has a Great Thanksgiving appropriate for July 4th in the USA (for which I am very thankful) that we will use for our monthly communion.

    And, we will celebrate a missions award during the service, too.

    All of that in one service has me feeling like it's "Stew Sunday" -- just throw in everything you've got.

    Rumor has it that the new District Superintendent is making the rounds of churches. I don't know whether to hope tomorrow is "our" day or not.

    Anyway, here I am with glimmers of a sermon and hope for inspiration from the Holy Spirit so I can go to bed soon.

  59. I've posted my draft on my sermon blog. Feedback always appreciated.

  60. Ha! Margaret, you can tell your uncle that this Baptist always writes her sermons down and never preaches from the floor!

  61. I'm just now home from a week of con-ed (hurray for The Young Clergy Women Project!

    Alas, coming home from things like that always remind me how isolating/lonely it can be to be a pastor. sigh.

    So I haven't started the sermon, which is on the Luke text...the only things I know so far are: 1. There's just one service this week; 2. it's a communion Sunday; 3. We are doing communion around tables--there are tables and chairs on the chancel so we can sit down and "share a meal" together; 4. I pretty much hate verses 16-20 and am sorry I included them.

    So...not much to go on. I'll probably end up writing something on hospitality. Or maybe something will come out of the livestreaming General Assembly (oh, presbygeekfest is fully underway).

    Guess I should stare at the screen instead of facebooking, huh?

  62. irreverent -- I'm saving the children's message idea .. been doing a lot on prayer this summer.

    I'm sitting here knitting and NOT tweaking my sermon.

    I'm feeling some ennui right now. very tired.

    church attendance has been very low since sr. pastor retired. really very low.

    earthchick, I think it's probably fine, but I know how you feel. there are times when I think I've written the Great American Sermon, and it falls flat. and other times, inexplicably, the Holy Spirit kicks butt.

    frozen lemonade, anyone?

  63. somewhat in luck as I don't have to preach on George Washington'n'them tomorrow. But I am going to town on Naaman the leper, cuz it's one of my half-dozen absolute favourite stories in all of Holy Writ...somewhat influenced by the John Wayne marathon playing on AMC.
    But I'm pulling all the readings together on the theme of "You don't need all that STUFF" whether it's circumcision or a royal letter of credit or a second pair of shoes...

  64. Frozen lemonade - yum!! yes please!

    Just returning to my sermon after an emergency run to Target - having a box fan break in July is an extreme emergency when you're trying to go AC free!

    Now,cool again I can turn my attention to writing an effective ending.

  65. ok, frozen lemonade here for all who want it.

    taking a break to go bag lawn stuff. it's still about 85 outside.

    still haven't fixed the sermon, so I'll probably be back, maybe (I hope) briefly

    anyone else out there?

  66. Hi Diane!
    Still out here, Have a beginning and an end.. but boy to my transitions need some work!

    It's Naaman and I out here til we get things smoothed out.

    Take care

  67. ok, Lisa, I'm still here for a little while. what do you need?

  68. I hear fireworks. I'm sure they are because my sermon is done!

  69. Way to go Vicar! I just got an idea to start my sermon off, so hopefully that will get me writing. Finally.

    Thanks Diane for being such an attentive host.

  70. I'm finally done. Off to bed for me. Hopefully this headache will disappear overnight and I will feel much better by the time I have to preach.

    Thanks Diane for your encouragement!

    My bedtime prayers for all of you as you finalize your sermons, and preach the Word of God!

  71. hurray Vicar! I hear fireworks too, but unfortunately it just means that my dog won't go outside.

    semfem, keep on keepin on!

  72. I haven't been much of a paryer today, but I have been busy. Lots of good sermons, I've read those posted here, thanks all for sharing. I'm now calling it a night. 5am will be here way too soon. Blessings on all that is offered tomorrow.

  73. umm, so I started watching the live feed of the PCUSA general assembly...the moderator election. We just now got a new moderator (11.40pm) and she's being installed.

    In other words, so far I've written no words. sigh. but the moderator election is sort of exciting....

  74. OK - Teri, the vote is done. Time to step away from Twitter and get that sermon written! (Playing under multiple screen names tonight!)

  75. (Hello my late night friends! I've had a good sleeper so far, so I haven't joined you for late night parties like I thought I would. Miss you!)

  76. Teri and sheRev -- I "think" I fixed my sermon.

    So ... You're on your own. But, I'll leave the light on for you.

  77. I have most of my sermon written, but not completly yet.
    I was part of the PCUSA crowd watrching the live stream of election. And now I have a sermon to finish.
    Fascinating how times have changed over the years with the GA stuff. \
    And now back to the burden of a sermon and dealing withh Paul

  78. Don't know if anyone will see this. Children did great in worship - led responses, did dramatic readings, served communion - some very excited young children around. but one of the older members of the congregation felt unwell, was being helped out and fainted. Another member was taken to hospital this morning before worship. After worship I went off to emergency to see both of them - they both look great - maybe the ambulance ride and emergency are doing them some good.
    one child is about 4 and developmentally delayed [slightly], she wanted to be with me while I did the communion liturgy, so I let her,as long as she held my hand and her other hand followed my actions [didn't want here playing in the chalice. someone commented on the way out how beautiful it looked , and how it gave this child a way to offer ministry to the congregation. All in all an interesting and wonderful and exhausting morning. Time to go and relax with my husband - we are having a night away, and I may sleep the whole 24 hours.

  79. I'm still here.

    9;45 and just getting back to my outline, which looked pretty good this afternoon. Now, it's feeling kind of skimpy, but I'm trying not to worry....

    I miss you SheRev, but SO GLAD you have a good sleeper! Yeah for good sleepers!

    wow, PRL what an awesome day!

  80. oh, diane, I'm sorry to hear how things are going now that sr pastor has retired. it takes a while for things to settle out after a big change like that, but I am confident it will work out!

  81. Prayers for all tomorrow or today...or yesterday...whatever the case might be.

  82. oh hey, 1-4, are you still up?

  83. Whew, after falling asleep for a few hours and then writing for a few more, I think I'm finally done. Let's hope I haven't conflated two different types of freedom in this sermon...

    Blessings on all pondering, preaching, and proclamation today.

  84. hey PRL, thanks for the feedback. have a nice 24 hour nap.

    just wanted to check in and tell everyone to have a great 4th (those of you who are celebrating), and for all of us to remember that the Holy Spirit has our backs.

    mine too.

    Be careful out there.

  85. all done and dusted and delivered and now time for lunch over in these here parts. Blessings on all yet to preach :)

  86. This comment has been removed by the author.

  87. My message can be found here (If I do this correctly this time!

  88. Sunday morning blessings, all! HS has your back!


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