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Saturday, August 21, 2010

11th Hour Preachers' Party: Back in the Saddle Edition

Hello Gals and Pals!

I'm possibly unnaturally excited to be back with you all in the Preacher Party after a few months away. My new baby girl turned 3 months yesterday, and this is my first Sunday back in the pulpit. I started back in the office on Monday.

Three months without preaching has been interesting - - glorious on the one hand (no deadline, no pressure), but in a way it sort of left me feeling a little aimless, too. I guess it's one way I know this is a call and not just a thing to do. Maybe that's one reason Jeremiah is speaking to me this week.

But enough about me (likely too much about me). We have a task at hand! What Word is the Spirit whispering or shouting in our ears that needs to be shared with others. What Scriptures are speaking to you? On Tuesday it seemed that themes of vocation, healing, and Sabbath were cropping up. I also remember somone talking about bullying. That got me thinking about "Back to School" types of themes. Is there anyone taking their cue from that part of the secular calendar (where it fits)?

Another question somewhat related - - Does anyone have any "Backpack Blessing" resources or traditions they are willing to share? Even if this isn't the week for it, it is likely coming up soon for many of us. I threw one together in the last minute last year and would like to be more intentional this time.

Join the party in the comments! Usually I have husband-made blueberry pancakes to share in the morning, but we have a houseguest with dairy and egg allergies so I doubt they are on the menu in the morning. Probably just boring old instant oatmeal. What yummy things do the rest of you have to share???


  1. Greetings everyone and welcome back She Rev! I don't really have any great sermon thoughts, but thought I would say hi before I head off to sleep.

    I will say that I am intrigued by the discussion at Working Preacher about why we even go to church on Sunday and how that relates to the biblical concept of Sabbath and liberation. I also took their suggestion and ditched the OT readings to use Deuteronomy 5:1-15 instead.

    More pondering, much more pondering, before words get written down...see you further into Saturday, fellow preachers!

  2. HaHa! I thought I'd be first but semfem beat me ... Here's to the RevNightOwls :)

    We are doing Blessing of the Backpacks. I don't know if I have the litany on my home computer. I'll see if I can find anything and if I do, I'll put it on my blog.

    The passage this week is the Jeremiah one. I haven't decided if I'm going to tell my call story or not for this sermon. I find the discussion among the various commentators about this being the basis or not being the basis for the understanding of call for anyone other than Jeremiah fascinating. I can't help but wonder if the discussion is a false dichotomy. Can't it be both?

    While I fully understand that this is specific to Jeremiah, I also think that the stories of others' encounters with God (including call) help us understand what God's call for us might look like. So, while I know this is not my call story, it may very well be that Jeremiah's story of being called will also serve as a call from God for me. Does that make sense?

    So, yes, it is Jeremiah's story and Jeremiah's call. But it might also serve as a call for me (and you), too.

  3. Welcome back, SheRev, and may the return go smoothly and with grace and humor on everyone's part!

    The shell of an idea I had on Tuesday has developed content, courtesy of a very detailed dream about it...move over, Joseph ;-)

    For the family service: beforehand, I'm going to scatter some things around on the floor of the church. Pennies, leaves, trash (nothing messy), etc. I'm going to ask people to leave their pews and walk around very bent over, to see what they can, to see what they might not even have noticed when coming into church, and to consider what they can't see because of bending over (for example, only walls, not stained glass windows). I'll then talk about the woman who was bent over, what she might have seen while bent, how that might've shaped her understanding of the world. Then imagine what more she saw when healed: sun as well as shadows, faces as well as feet, birds as well as bugs, tree tops as well as leaves, and so on. Jesus's healing expanded her vision...of people. of creation, of community; he will do the same for us. That's the gist of it, anyway!

  4. She Rev, Great to see you back. Hope all goes smoothly. And thanks for starting the party early.
    I come here with no idea what I'll preach - except that it has to be on the gospel text, we're only having one reading this week. Betsy, I like your idea of healing bringing a new perspective. May tease that out a bit.
    Having Scottish HEather tea and toasted home made bread with ginger preserve right now - loads to share, so help yourself.

  5. Blessings to all of you on your writing journey today. I am going on an aquarium:baseball game adventure with Ghe Boy and Gram. The sermon is Call, thanks to Jeremiah, and includes z challenge to each grade level & adults to be who God has called them to be.

    I need coffee and since the menu here is virtual, go ahead and make those pancakes. I have a large variety of fresh fruits, Trader Joes granola and yogurt.

    Welcome back SheRev!

  6. Ugh. I typed that on my iPhone. Sorry about the typos.

  7. welcome back, SheRev! If only we had another pastor back in the saddle with me!

    I've been off all week, and am not preaching this weekend, but will need a good children's message. (anyone?)

    Also, I think we did a backpack blessing for the first time last year; I'll try to dig up some resources.

    Today, I've got a lot of planning to do for the start of fall. also, planning for a funeral on Monday.

    just got back from a beautiful few days up north.

    Hope to meet you someday, SheRev!

  8. So, I am just checking in before I am off for the day. SheRev, welcome back! Vicar, thanks for the resources! Betsy, love your idea. Beautiful!

    Sparked by my new experiences with yoga and balance, I was going to somehow tie that in with the gospel..but haven't got very far with that, as far as unpacking.

    But now, off to puppy school, then doing a wedding in a beautiful outdoor space this afternoon, early evening--and hopefully some time inbetween to write. Oy!

  9. Welcome back SheRev. We are baptizing this Sunday, preaching on call, and including a little of mine [Jeremiah isn't the only one who thought he wasn't capable:) ] including the gospel as well – what burdens do we carry, what do we rejoice in. Talking with the children about Baptism – hopefully that bit goes OK.
    Good night,

  10. Glad to have you back, SheRev!!! I'll be back in the saddle on Labor Day weekend, after I start at my new call on Sept. 1. For tomorrow, my daughter and I are planning to visit Pastor Peter's church and hear her preach. I've got coffee cake underway and I'm happy to share it with y'all.

  11. Greetings! Always nice to drop in - welcome back She Rev!

    Fortunately, it is Hubby's turn to preach tomorrow. We are coming off of VBS, so recapping all the fun for the congregation.

    At the end of a very long week - which ended up including much more than VBS - we don't have a braincell left between us.

    Thankful for the Holy Spirit's presence with us all, and praying for blessing on planning and process!

  12. Good Morning! Enjoying a good old regular cup of joe this morning (although it was brewed in a french press), along with a bowl of cereal to get my creative juices flowing.

    I'm supply preaching in the church that I did my field education 5 years ago. I am also trying to get a good video of a sermon for search committees. The last one was too long! (I had never timed my sermons before, so imagine my surprise when I found out that I am normally in the 20-25 minute range. I always thought I was 15 -20).

    This week I'm preaching on the Luke text and pairing it up with the Sabbath commandment from Deut 5 (thank you I am not totally sure where it will end up, but it will start with a personal story of being bent over and not seeing the wider picture while backpacking.

  13. Good morning everyone! I have lots of content, but no outline for it.
    I'm learning that I need to dump more than I put in by the time I finish my prep work. I'm thinking blogposts out of the leftovers. I'm doing blessing of the backpacks and had planned to preach Jeremiah in terms of not being too young (or too old, or too small a congregation...)to carry the Word into the world, but it has taken a different twist. One of the commentaries talked about the importance of the protest in call stories. If you aren't a bit terrified at the thought of doing God's work and sharing God's word, then you don't have right understanding of the magnitude of the call and you are likely to think you can pull it off yourself, and perhaps think too small. I'll know more about where it's going in a bit.

    I'm using a different blog identity today, but most of you know me as m-lr. Acorns From the Grove is the public blog I started when I came to my new church.

  14. Fair Trade Coffee or Chocolate anyone?
    I also have some yuumy Blueberry muffins.
    Not preaching for a while, but hanging with the cool crowd today

  15. Good morning everybody!

    I've been spending the morning in prayer and contemplation. Had a couple of epiphanies but none on the sermon. No problem, I'm sure I'll think of something as I clean the house this morning. Would anyone like a fruit smoothie this morning.

  16. I'm spinning off Kate Huey's second sermon sample on UCC's SAMUEL resource for this week. Title is "The Time is Now"--some kind of combination of God's timing vs. ours and who the bent-over woman is in our world (Kate's got some great examples). I am admittedly trying to get this written as fast as possible to get back home and work on a sewing project I started Thursday night...

  17. My pastor husband and I are sitting across from one another at the table, writing a dramatic sermon between the woman and the synagogue leader. This is the most fun I've had with a sermon in a long time.

  18. semfem, I have a colleague in my presbytery who has questioned that very thing (going to church every Sunday) with her congregation. For that last year they have worshiped "formally" on 1st and 3rd Sundays (a semi-traditional service in the church sanctuary) and "informally" on 2nd and 4th Sundays. On informal weekends there is a brief "Welcoming the Sabbath" prayer service and meal on Saturday night and a strict rule of NO CHURCH ACTIVITIES on Sunday morning. Folks are encouraged to do what feels like Sabbath worship to them on their own - - gather with friends for meals, spend the day at a park with their families, whatever they need to enjoy God and live in praise instead of just giving it with their words. For a while they were gathering on Sunday evenings to sort of "debrief" and share with one another how they worshiped God that day, but I think that has phased out as was planned.

    Vicar - - I'm not telling my own call story, but I'm definitely assuming that this call (or the truth contained within it "Before you were in your mother's womb... Before you were born... and being blessed or set aside for some purpose, any purpose) can be extended beyond Jeremiah. I'm extending it even to our congregation. God has a purpose for us, a call for us to carry out in the world in this particular time and this particular place.

    Also, thanks for the backpack stuff!!!

    Betsy, I love it. How does your family service work? Do you have it certain Sundays of the month? Is it the only service that day? What's the story? I love the ideas you do with it and have always wondered about it. I think I could get away with those kinds of things periodically in my single service possibly without even declaring it "family service," but maybe I'd hit the target audience better if I announced it that way.

    Welcome, liz! Blessings as you find the word for you and yours.

    kathrynzj - - Gotta love TJs! (But not those iPhone keypads. I canNOT do them.) I, too, think Jeremiah is making a good Scripture to get ready for the coming ministry/school year.

    Diane - - Glad you enjoyed your time up north, and a children's sermon seems like a good way to ease back in. Prayers for a ministry partner for you soon!

    (Whew - - this is getting long. I'll end it and continue greeting momentarily!)

  19. good morning, left-over german chocolate birthday cake anyone? My son celebrated his 27th and daughter came up from the "south" to bake him a cake from scratch. (yay for mom's who don't bake?)
    Has anyone done expository preaching lately? We are still have "a voice from the congregation" preach 1 meditation along with mine. I think the woman preaching with me will be so good, all I want to do is 'set her up'. So I plan to do some exposition from Ps. 139 to set up the Jeremiah (alternative OT text). But I have done that here.
    Any ideas? Or "older" children's stories?
    blessing to all, there's a little Fair Trade coffee left here.

  20. I have a draft of a sermon written, moving somewhat along the lines of Betsy and the perspective of the bent over woman(thanks to the Tuesday conversation) but in a different direction based on my recent expereince with the Words Matter conference and a blind participant. I'm wondering about suffering and "seeing" through it...

    later today a long dog walk and a family birthday party, but thankfully not much else.

  21. Busy day, revkjarla! Enjoy that wedding!

    PRL - - Love baptism days!!!

    Congrats on the new call, Songbird! I know others offered their support and well wishes another week, but I'll add mine here. I was thinking about you, too, with the saddle talk. ;)

    Why does everything happen on VBS week, Betheny? That happened in my first call as an associate of education. The senior pastor left town on Monday morning, leaving me alone on VBS week with only a month's ministry experience. I kid you not, 3 people died before noon. There was one more death on Thursday and my first wedding on Saturday. Will. never. forget. that. week.

    Jeff, I tend to be a longer preacher, too. I've worked to try to reign myself in and average closer to 17 now. It is what it is, but I know that can be daunting to send out to churches without the context of the rest of the service. The backpacking illustration sounds great!

    Welcome under your new name, Rev Liz! I like the talk about protesting the call (filing that away for another day).

    1-4, I'll take a muffin!

    GG, epiphanies are good! Ones that are needed on a time schedule (like for sermons) are great, too, but we'll take the ones we get, won't we? Prayers for you.

    Beth - - sometimes I think I need to write in a building that is not my home so that I'm farther away from knitting projects!

    Anonymous, that sounds GLORIOUSLY fun. I've never done something like that, but a friend who is flying in to perform Pearl's baptism next month and I are considering doing something similar for that service.

    Nancy, I'd take some cake!!!

    As for me - - I'm waiting for my husband, the kids, brother-in-law, and his girlfriend to take the kids to the park for a while, so I can finish my funeral details for later this afternoon and hopefully my sermon for tomorrow. For once I have a LOT done already and just have finishing details to put on it. Hopefully they'll stay long enough that I can do that. I'm trying hard to turn in my card for the RevNightOwls club. I learned on my leave how much I love my responsibility-free Saturday nights and how much better my mood is when they are. Oops. My mom also flies in today, so we're taking advantage of the free babysitter to take my in-laws to the TOO BIG MALL for dinner and whatever.

    I'll be back shortly to see how things are going! Blessings on EVERYTHING on our plates today.

  22. I found a good children's sermon on about being 'bent out of shape' (might help you Diane) that actually is turning into my 'regular' sermon more or less.

    The woman is literally bent out of shape because of her physical ailment. The religious leader is bent out of shape figuratively when he responds to what Jesus does. Jesus addresses both of them--to realign them. Something like that. I'm still in process!

  23. Like Liz Moen, I have plenty of content, only a rough outline, and lots to organize with even more to leave on the cutting room floor. It's been a crazy week here. and I need to get some order in this because it really will be kinda stirring the pot. I'm the one on bullying, using Ezek 34 (rough sheep) and 1 cor 12 (one body) with the primary message being "band together and don't let these things happen". But there were a few of the rough sheep on the last pastor, and a kid being bullied by a coach at school, and a woman being bullied by the legal system, and, well, you get the picture.

    Time for another cup of tea!

  24. Wow...I had no clue that figuring out football equipment--is this piece in the right place? does that one go this way or that?--was quite so confusing! Older son's first day of wearing pads, after 8 weeks of practice in shorts and t-shirt, and it took the whole family plus the internet to get him set.

    SheRev, we have worshp at 7:45 and 10:30 that is a regular Episcopal eucharist service. At 9:00, we have our "family service" which lasts about 30-40 minutes and is designed to engage all ages. Most Sundays it is a modified liturgy of the Word (first half of the eucharistic service); on the 3rd Sunday of every month, it's communion. Families take turns as readers and intercessors, ushers, and hospitality (snacks!); the jobs are easy, so once a person has come a few times, we work them in.

    There is only one reading (any of the RCL lessons for the day), except on communion Sundays when I use both the psalm (said together) and the gospel. Sermons are all over the place and generally interactive. The music is fairly simple, generally led by our guitar/banjo playing musician. Sometimes we pull out rhythm instruments for the kids, which is a riot! We have anywhere from about 15 people in the deepest summer to 50+ on occasion, normally in the 30-40 range; over a month's time, we probably see 80 different people. I would estimate that 75% of those have started coming because of this service, which we began 6 years ago.

    The hardest parts have been integrating these families into the life of the church in terms of leadership (so that their voices are represented)--their time outside worship tends to be stretched thin already-- and that some other folks insist on seeing this as "junior church" and not real worship. But overall it has been a great experience!

  25. Welcome back, She Rev! This is a "Back in the Saddle" time for me as well, so thanks for sharing about your experience of that, and blessings as you climb back in.

    Earlier this week I posted the first new lectionary blog reflection that I've done in months. I've just recently wrapped up the most intense year (plus) of my life--a wondrous and wild time that has included marrying, moving, finishing a new book, and leading some events on the other side of the country. Hence the lack of blogging. In the wake of all this, I am thrilled to say that I am still in my jammies this morning! But I have mint tea and orange blossom honey for anyone who could use a cuppa...

    The bent-over woman grabbed my attention this week, and propelled me back into blogging a bit earlier than I might have otherwise. The new piece of art and reflection are at The Painted Prayerbook. I'd love for you to stop by!

    Blessings to everyone...

  26. Reading the commentaries, my head is ready to explode. Time to clean the bathroom to make sense of it all.

  27. I had this feeling that I knew where I was going with this whole thing. Lots of conversation. Lots of blogging friends talking about Sabbath and call. And then I read Jana Childers piece on the kyphotic woman. Totally sent me back to the beginning. Going to preach about the God who loves us just as we are. Because we are. If you want to see Childers piece just google kyphotic woman.

  28. Mompriest - - It sounds like you are on your way. I think the dog walk sounds glorious, although maybe not in the muggy weather we're having. I hope yours is enjoyable and energizing!

    Silent - - Don't you love when you can find a good seed to expand on like that?

    Althea, sounds like a great way to address something timely from the pulpit!

    Thanks for sharing, Betsy. I can see the celebrations and challenges. Sounds great!

    And blessings for you, too, Jan. I have to let you know we are using one of your artwork pieces (Legally! I buy the subscription) as our focal point for worship on Sunday. It may not be what inspired you, but I saw in "For What Binds Us" a womb of God's creating and blessing. Just thought I'd share that and thank you!

    Scrub and think! Scrub and think, GG!

    And now for news no one will believe - - I think I am done! I am posting the draft at my blog (BEFORE NOON!) and will happily take comments and suggestions and critiques. I'm not sure about my introduction of a new metaphor/illustration at the end with the talk about the orchestra conductor. I'd like to have one to go back to the new birth in our family to tie the top back in at the bottom, but maybe that's not necessary. Whatever. Something is done and I'm thrilled. Now on to the funeral message for the funeral at 2:00 p.m. I wanted to do the sermon first so it would actually get done!

  29. RevHRod - - "Because we are" Love it.

  30. ARgh...just read through what I wrote on Thursday. Preaching on Jeremiah and call and the sermon wanders...all over the place.

    I envision some major work...thankfully my weekend visitor is understanding.

    Must be done by this evening as we are going to see "Charlie St. Cloud".

    Lots of great thoughts and ideas. My plan is to incorporate something similar to a backpack blessing...if we have any kids show up. We normally have one child about once a month.

  31. RevHRod, that's a chunk of what I'm trying to get at, that what the woman saw when bent wasn't wrong (a shadow is not "worse" than the sun or a fallen leaf than one on a tree); Jesus simply brought her to an even wider vision. God loves us as we are, and because of that wants to help us to see/embrace even more. Thanks for the pointer to a good resource; I'll check it out.

  32. Welcome back SheRev! (Btw, do I recall we are both in Ohio? If so it would be great to meet up when convenient--you can email me at lauraATgrimesDOTws if interested).

    So very glad to hear about the new call, Songbird.

    Big day and big weekend for me--very busy but also full of joy and gratitude. Today at 4 pm I am doing mass to bless our new home, followed by a buffet supper. Still some unpacking, cleaning, and cooking left--just me and kids as my hubby has his foot elevated after yesterday's surgery--but it's looking good so far. Extemp homily followed by discussion/sharing on hospitality of Abraham and Sarah, Colossians 5 on Christian living (from our wedding) and John on God dwelling in us and we in God. Will start off with Billy Joel's "You're my Home" for that. A week I ago I desperately questioned giving myself such an early deadline but it's going to feel so good to be all moved in, and such a joy to gather community and launch my house church/spirituality center!

    Tomorrow is my first time co-presiding and preaching at the local radical Catholic community, which was gratifying happy to welcome me to the rota when I came out of the "sacristy closet." There is a lot of lay leadership, preaching, etc. but thus far only four ordained men who either got married or came out. Grateful to the RevGals for that homily inspiration...we normally use an inclusivized version of the Roman Catholic lectionary, but have the freedom to change. And I decided to when I realized that the RCL has the bent over woman and she is relegated to a weekday in the RC cycle. Sadly, when I explained the change to my Presby-raised, very biblically literate husband he had never even heard of her! So that's the homily and discussion starter right there--I will take a poll as to who knows her and how. And focus on all who are bent over under oppression and exclusion in church and society.

    Back to the five cup salad, and two quiches: pancetta and mushroom, and spinach and mushroom for the veg crowd. Lots of Trader Joe's desserts too--dig in!

  33. Welcome back SheRev! (Btw, do I recall we are both in Ohio? If so it would be great to meet up when convenient--you can email me at lauraATgrimesDOTws if interested).

    So very glad to hear about the new call, Songbird.

    Big day and big weekend for me--very busy but also full of joy and gratitude. Today at 4 pm I am doing mass to bless our new home, followed by a buffet supper. Still some unpacking, cleaning, and cooking left--just me and kids as my hubby has his foot elevated after yesterday's surgery--but it's looking good so far. Extemp homily followed by discussion/sharing on hospitality of Abraham and Sarah, Colossians 5 on Christian living (from our wedding) and John on God dwelling in us and we in God. Will start off with Billy Joel's "You're my Home" for that. A week I ago I desperately questioned giving myself such an early deadline but it's going to feel so good to be all moved in, and such a joy to gather community and launch my house church/spirituality center!

    Tomorrow is my first time co-presiding and preaching at the local radical Catholic community, which was gratifying happy to welcome me to the rota when I came out of the "sacristy closet." There is a lot of lay leadership, preaching, etc. but thus far only four ordained men who either got married or came out. Grateful to the RevGals for that homily inspiration...we normally use an inclusivized version of the Roman Catholic lectionary, but have the freedom to change. And I decided to when I realized that the RCL has the bent over woman and she is relegated to a weekday in the RC cycle. Sadly, when I explained the change to my Presby-raised, very biblically literate husband he had never even heard of her! So that's the homily and discussion starter right there--I will take a poll as to who knows her and how. And focus on all who are bent over under oppression and exclusion in church and society.

    Back to the five cup salad, and two quiches: pancetta and mushroom, and spinach and mushroom for the veg crowd. Lots of Trader Joe's desserts too--dig in!

  34. Sherev,
    I used a litany for the backpacks a couple of years ago.
    It was a responsive reading type thing with a prayer at the end.I looked and cannot find it here. I am guessing I must have typed it in word at the churc where I was working. Sorry.
    I have posted a letter to the new pastor over at my place.
    And this will be the next to the last post there. I am going to be changing things up soon. Not sure what, but I am pretty sure my regular readers will know it is me.:)
    Hope the sermons are going well!

  35. Oh, for those who use Blogger,
    what the heck did they do with the SpellChecker?
    I can't find it now

  36. Both girls are down for a nap, though only the baby is asleep. I would love to join them, but must get to editing on this sermon. Preaching for United Methodist Women Sunday at hubby's church. THe theme given to me was "mission." Yeah. A little broad. I'm using Isaiah 58 and Matt 28's Great Commission. I'm fairly sure that I have three sermons rather than one, but I may just run with it anyway. That couch is looking mighty inviting.

  37. For those who bless backpacks, there is an order for it in this year's Sundays and Seasons (an ELCA resource). It's mostly brief storytelling and prayer. If you're interested in seeing it, let me know here.

    It's warm and sticky here, and working with a hot computer is not helping! I'm not much further than I was last night, but might just dig in and see what comes of it. Plus procrastinating on a few phone calls and other articles to write. The usual.

    Now to the's great to see everyone, esp. those who have been away for a while! Betsy, I love your idea for the interactive sermon. She Rev, we will miss you during the late shift, but if you can make this happen, then more power to you.

    I have apple cobbler bread and the last of the Christmas tea to share!

  38. I'm at the funeral which starts in 32 minutes so no time to respond individually. Just came in here to print one last time. Thanks for joining us, folks who weren't here earlier! I'll be back

  39. Grocery shopping done. Key rings to go on backpacks purchased. Turkey BLT's for lunch anyone?

    Sermon coming this afternoon.

    She Rev you've outdone yourself with individual responses. We'll hold down the fort.

  40. Can this be? 1272 words and I'm done?!?

    Needs some editing, but still! Exciting!

  41. Songbird, congrats on the new call; I haven't been around for a few weeks and I missed that wonderful news!

    Watermelon, nicely chilled, available here. I also have some Ghirardhelli chocolate I picked up at an outlet last week; grab some while it lasts :-)

  42. The sermon is NOT cooperating. It just wants to go this way and this that way, forever spinning off on more tangents. I'm tempted to chuck if all and preach on Jeremiah's call!

    It doesn't help that I don't know this congregaiton! Am I preaching to my needs, or is the Holy Spirit leading me to what this congregation needs to hear - and how do I know if it's both?

    I may be interiming at this congregation for awhile, so I am also trying to forget the subtle pressure to make this one a 'good' one to impress them. Vanity, vanity!

    I've got fresh salsa and guacamole to share if anyone wants a mid afternoon snack!

  43. Wedding one----done.

    Wedding two--in an hour.

    So time to look at freedom and being bent over. What bends us over, limits our worldview, keeps us from experiencing the full joy and breadth of life? From what do we need to be freed?

    There are two people in Luke's story apparently in need of being freed. The woman and the synagogue leader. God offers freedom to both.

    And in his own way Jeremiah is set free too! Free from his conception that he is limited by being too young. When we embrace God's call to us does God set us free to respond?

    I think there is a sermon in there somewhere...

  44. Forgot to change the sign in. This is Gord posting from the church.

    Oh and Anonymous, i would love to see/hear that dialogue!

  45. Still stymied, so I wrote a narrative piece setting the gospel in a modern congregation. I really like it, but I don't know if I'll use it tomorrow. It's too short, and I don't know how to or if I need to add a closing expository section.

    I guess my homeletics professor was right - it's hard to know if a story sermon should stand on it's own!

    I've got some other stuff written, so I think I'll go make dinner and see if all (or some) the writing percolates into a coherent piece.

    Bean nachos with jalepenos will be ready in a jiffy!

  46. Purple -- I have weekend visitors, too. Aren't we thankful for the ones who get it? Hope your day went well and things wander a little less.

    Hello Laura! Thanks for the welcome. I'm not in OH, but WI. Sorry we can't meet up! You've got a lot of wonderful celebrating going on this weekend. Prayers for you through all of it and for your husband's healing!

    Thanks for working so hard on the backpack blessing, 1-4!

    Welcome, esperanza! Mission, I guess it's good to have a given them so broad that anyhing you do can fit in it!

    Holy cow, semfem! Done? That's two of us RevNightOwls! Congrats.

    Oh, Ramona! I hope the sermon cooperates soon. The Spirit is with you, I'm positive!

    Gord, I love how you found Jeremiah's liberation, too. Good luck with wedding two!

    My funeral is done. VERY long, but she picked 6 songs, a solo, and the choir so what's a girl to do? Oh, and 5 family/friend speakers and "open mic" sharing time. Holy cow.

    Anyway, now I'm home preparing to leave the kids and baby with my mom who just flew in from FL. Sort of weird to ditch her when she walks in the door, but my BIL and girlfriend are also here one more night so this is a chance to go out with them without kids. Free babysitter. Mom will be here all week, so it's not a problem.

    Anyone have supper to share? I think we'll end up with sushi, so I can bring rolls back.

    Blessings as we keep at it. I'll check in again when I get home!

  47. WooHoo - done except the printing! This one totally didn't go where i thought it was, and at one point, I'm preaching why the title I chose a few weeks ago is really not a good image to use. You know how here at the EHPP, we often say the Holy Spirit's got your back? Thinking of backpack blessing and being sent into the world, I titled this sermon on Jeremiah "Who's got your back?" I'm thinking that implies we only lean on the Spirit when our own One of the commentaries talked about God's words in Jeremiah's mouth - it wasn't that Jeremiah would go as far as he could on his own, then God would cover for him. It was only by God's power that Jeremiah said anything at all. Oh well, now that I've got that out of my system,it is done.

    Lemonade anyone? Or sweet tea with lemon? Thermometer on patio showing 111 degrees. Official will probably be 103ish. HOT either way.

    Gord - I preached the bent over woman story last week. It seemed to me the synagogue leader's view of the world was more limited than the woman who couldn't look up.

  48. Ramona, I love the idea and offer prayers for you that the way forward becomes clear to you.

  49. She Rev welcome back

    GG wish I cleaned my house

    Songbird blessings on your new all

    Ramanoa trust the Holy Spirits wisdom to guide you

    as for me I need to trust the Holy Spirit been at the computer for hours trying to write, done more messing around then sermonating have such a block. I am letting to many worries clog my wee little rain UGGH!

  50. Wow, She Rev! Quite the trial by fire as you waded through that first VBS.

    We are home from the consistory retreat followed by funeral hosting for a police officer. God bless the church angles who are cleaning up...and coming to church tonight to re-transform the sanctuary back into the Savannah for our VBS celebration in the morning.

    Asking for continued blessings on you all as you weave the threads together.

  51. For a not busy day I sure have been busy...sigh.

    I have a draft posted, but I think I've pushed the envelope a bit and wonder if this really works? Please stop by and let me know, I'd appreciate it.

  52. Thanks for hosting She-Rev.

    I re-worked the sermon and saying to myself...It will be enough.

    If anyone has extra time, my sermon is "here.

  53. Printed. Closing up the computer and packing up the books to roll back to the office. Movie night with family ahead - long overdue and perhaps a while till the next one.

    Blessings to all of you. Holy Spirit has your back, your front, and your in between.

  54. Am back from the best wedding ceremony in my 10 years of ordination!!!
    This is because it was a collaborative effort among me and the two brides.
    Wish I had a gorgeous sermon to go with this!!!

  55. Sermon here. It's a short one. I'm going on a two and a half week vacation starting Monday. Guess my brain went on vacation sooner than my body.

    Anywoo, please feel free to stop by and read it. It compares the healing of the bent woman to the healing of a woman who was struggling in an abusive marriage. Hopefully I'll have a job when I get back from vacation. Please read and let me know if it might be to controversial.

  56. *tumbleweeds blow by*

    God_Gurrrl I think it works really well!

  57. I'm still here, though I'm about to watch a movie with the family. I've collected some things to scatter around on the church floor: pennies, clean trash, leaves, shells, and a collection of fake bugs. I just have to hope that a helpful altar guild person doesn't pick any of it up when I'm not looking!

    Lasagna anyone? Not homemade, but Stouffer's is pretty darn good and so easy :-)

  58. I think I'm going to have to pick up one of those dropped RevNightOwl cards, unfortunately. Both girls are in bed, but they both have a cold. Hubby not yet home from his family graveside service/picnic tonight. And the sermon? Still right where it was when I fell asleep on the couch during the girls' nap time. Oops.

  59. esperanza, the best part of that is you got a nap!

    I finally think I have a spark of something. I'm hoping for flames of the Spirit and not a wildfire.

  60. Good night everyone. May the Holy Spirit have our backs tommorrow!

  61. well,I've sure enjoyed the sermon offerings here - I love the different perspectives we each offer. And thanks for the feedback, my sermon has been tweaked and is printed. I'll probably continue to play with a word here or there right up until I preach it.

    But for now I'm enjoying a scoop of vanilla and a scoop of chocolate ice cream with caramel topping...and a cup of mint tea. Then its off to be for me.

    Blessings, all!

  62. Congrats on being back in the pulpit, SheRev. :-)

    I'm preaching tomorrow because the pastors are out of town. Feels good to be preparing a sermon.

    Wonder if I'll ever do it regularly again?

    Ah, not going there!

    Preaching about Peter tomorrow, thanks to a comment a few weeks ago in Mavis' Friday Five answers. :-)

    Good preaching tomorrow, all!

  63. ugh, baby has already been awake once because she couldn't breathe. She's not quite back asleep all the way yet. Could be a long night...

    Sermon is 2/3 edited, best make hay while the sun shines (or moon, whatever).

  64. hey there -- anyone still up? I think I'm gonna hit the sack as early as possible tonite and get up early tomorrow, so I might not be a later nighter. I have an ok outline, and I might just preach from that. it has to be short anyway, as we are doing a new/more complicated thing with prayer time and also receiving new members!

    sherev, welcome back!

    and Jan R, so good to see you too! I was wondering recently if you would be back to blogging - I always enjoy your writing so much. if you are crossing the country again and find yourself in Oregon, let me know!

    btw, I'm starting my 3rd year at this call, so for the first time I am going back over familiar ground -- or at least scriptures I have already "done" with this congregation. interesting times....

  65. Welcome back esperanza, Juniper, Vicar, anyone else I missed...

    The sermon is done except for some polishing and printing, but I've been working away at the other stuff. Two articles down, one to go, and the chocolate zucchini cake is cooling as we speak. All phone calls returned (some with messages left, but oh well).

    As you can see, it's hard to break that late-night habit! Sweet dreams/productive writing everyone...I'm going to be up for at least a little bit more, but hopefully not long...

  66. ok, I'm printing. Now the toddler is making noise. Daddy reinforcements have arrived home, though. Semfem, are you sharing the chocolate zucchini bread? Sounds like a great way to get some veggies in tonight!

  67. WHOO HOO! I'm done! Everything is printed & I can watch a movie before going to bed :)

  68. ok, for real this time, I'm done. Printed, re-edited, Bible is marked, bulletin is marked, surely I am done.

  69. Hope everyone is doing well. I'm heading off to bed soon, but thinking of those who are staying up late and still writing.
    Kudos to those who are already done.
    There is some leftover apple pie in the oven. help yourselves

  70. Wow! A lot of the usual late-nighters seem to be finishing up early. I hope no one is left here too alone.

    I'm back from our night out at the Too Big Mall. It was fun. Just getting out with my "No kids with me" purse is fun.

    semfem, I hope you got to finish up rather quickly. I'm going to hit the hay here shortly since I can. The few times I've had something done this early I've slept worse than when I haven't, so I'm hoping sleep comes easy when I lay down.

    Blessings on us all!!! Last one up turn out the lights and set the timer on the coffee maker.

  71. YAY esperanza and Vicar! Have some chocolate zucchini cake to celebrate! :)

  72. I'll catch a quick bite of that yummy sounding chocolate zucchini bread. Loved watching The Blind Side with the family; with sons 12 and 15.5, it can be challenging to find something that suits us all, but that one did :-)

    One last look over the sermon and I'm off to bed. May the Spirit help us all to look up in joy tomorrow!

  73. Well, now that I've taken care of all kinds of things (including some that didn't really NEED to be done tonight, but now are), and polished the sermon, I'm ready to go upstairs, print these bad boys, and head to bed. Whew. Hard for me to get away from those late nights, no matter what!

    Blessings on all pondering, preaching, and proclamation this day. Lights off, coffeemaker set.

  74. ummmm...out of coffee over I came here to grab a cup before worship, and to read over my sermon.
    blessings on all of you this morning!

  75. Somehow I had aermon done before noon (unheard of) and a 3 month who sleeps through the night and I still slept horribly. I found plenty of church and worship related thoughts to run through my head and keep me awake. How annoying. Oh well. I'm up and feeding the baby, so I guess now is a good time to read through the sermon - another luxury I'm discovering with the early finish.

    Blessings on all!

  76. sherev

    first day back = nerve wracking. hope it goes amazingly!


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