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Saturday, October 09, 2010

11th Hour Preacher Party: Naaman and Babylonians and Lepers, Oh My!

I'm not sure I allowed myself to hold the memory of how tough the fall season of Year C in the Revised Common Lectionary is. You?

But we're getting there, as determinedly as those nine lepers who ran off to say thank you to the priests.

Or are we stopping in the middle of the road to thank Jesus?

Or would we rather talk about Naaman, for the chance to talk about what really makes a person an outsider?

Maybe we're happier planting gardens in Babylon.

Wherever you're headed, join us for virtual coffee and authentic discussion throughout the day and into the night. If you have a children's word, share it; or if you need one, be sure to ask! Check out our Lectionary discussion from Tuesday for starting thoughts. And let us know what lies ahead for you today. We're here to listen, to cajole, to humor and to help.

Image Attribution: JESUS MAFA. Healing of the ten lepers, from Art in the Christian Tradition, a project of the Vanderbilt Divinity Library, Nashville, TN.


  1. Checking in before I go to's going to be a CRAZY Saturday for me, but since I don't have Sunday's sermon done yet (or the sermon for Sunday afternoon's wedding), I'll be around at some point! Hoping the Holy Spirit is present for you all at just the right time...

  2. Hey all - I'm starting earlier than usual, since I have a friend visiting today and haven't gotten much done. I'm focusing on Jeremiah - but have also been consumed with concern and attention toward the several teen suicides that have occurred in the states over the last month. I'm playing with some ideas of adolescence as exile, and perhaps the need for a voice of comfort, like Jeremiah's to those young people in exile, "for we know the plans that God has for you..." and God is with you even in exile. It's a little past the lectionary text, but I'm okay with taking liberties.

    Meanwhile, all I've got to offer is coffee, but it's hot and good. Here's hoping for some inspiring Spirit in the early morn.

  3. Greetings!

    Still lounging in bed letting the Spirit play with my thoughts and dreams as I drift in and out of sleep.

    Wondering what "radical love" looks like. Would people know we are Christians by our love?

    I'll be putting the kettle on for tea soon...many kinds to choose from.

  4. Hi. I was going to be done with my sermon by now, but was sick in the middle of the week and got behind.

    I also have a wedding this afternoon.

    I just found out last night that a woman in the congregation that I have been close to is in the hospital, but no one told us.

    so, here I am, at least for a little while!

    oh, and we're trying to get out of town next week, but our dog sitter fell through. :(

    good to see all of you...

  5. oh, and I'm on the lepers....we're starting stewardship already, and I thought it would be good to give thanks...

  6. semfem, we look forward to seeing you, hope you have gotten some sleep!
    revjulie, good and hot coffee is always a worthy contribution to the party.
    And Bethany, thanks for that reminder; it's all about love.
    I'm late-arising and have been mostly puttering around worrying about my dog, Sam, who is being treated for a tumor (yes, I am the modern-day female Job with the ridiculous stress list at the moment) and is acting very poorly this morning. My goal is to get something started around the Luke passage this morning, but at the moment all I have is a title. Aargh!

  7. Diane, that sounds like a lot of complications. I hope things sort out soon.

  8. I have some scrambled tofu and toast with strawberry jam...with a touch of leprosy on the side (LOL!). My sermon is up on my blog...I wrote from the perspective of a young boy discovering and hiding the fact of his leprosy. The flow after the narrative is a bit choppy but so is my brain (5 month old who doesn't sleep well!).

  9. Thanksgiving here, so I'm preaching about noticing God's presence/blessing and giving thanks (with Luke). A long-time parishioner has died, and the funeral is Monday, so my sermon is not where I want it to be and I wish I didn't need to be in my office! If I could post pure stress, that's probably what I would do.

  10. not preaching tomorrow, "on the road again" -- but I'd go with the lepers...maybe on the notion that Jesus does ten times more healing than we're ever thankful for or even aware of...and it's real...but those who turn back and give thanks are blessed beyond their power to ask or imagine.
    Little touchy about healing this week after conversation with Christian Scientist aunt, God love her.

  11. Good morning, all. I'd hoped to get moving sooner but didn't. I'm here now, ready to get going on Timothy.

    Today's the big U-M/MSU game, and it's a bit distracting (not b/c I'm a football fan but b/c so many people park in our neighborhood to walk to the game). It is a Very Big Deal here, and unfortunately I have to brave game traffic later to take our boys to swim class (hubs is teaching a seminary course on Luke on Saturdays this month). It all feels a bit much and I wish I'd gotten at least a few words on paper before now.

    I have little to offer food-wise, but if someone can watch my kids and write a bit of my sermon, maybe I could get some pumpkin bread made and in the oven!

  12. I am really struggling with my sermon for tomorrow. pages of notes....some pieces of a sermon...some thoughts in my head. But nothing that inspires me to put it on paper. And if I'm not even inspired to put it on paper....yeesh. But basically I'm working on a Naaman and the one healed leper combo...looking at what it means to believe, to see, and to do.

  13. Woohoo! Just got a call from the swim class saying that class has been cancelled b/c the pool's too cold. Yeah!

    Now I have the time to make pumpkin bread, right? Or, um, yeah, my sermon.

  14. Struggling with what to preach about tomorrow. 2 Timothy passage fits so well with a sermon that speaks against the bullying of LGBT youth. However, whenever I've preached on LGBT themes, I've been accused of having an agenda because I am a lesbian. What boggles the mind is that this is supposedly an open and affirming church.

    Granted, the dissenting voices are not the majority, however in a tee tiny church they can be quite loud snd the church's dynamic is to acquiesce so as to keep the peace and keep relationships intact amongst the members. Basically they tell me to tone it down because I'm "only the interim." and don't understand their ways.

    So my dilemma, do I preach the gospel or do I preach another feel good sermon that challenges them individually rather than challenging them as a community of faith.

  15. God_Guurrll, preach the gospel!! HS will have your back!

    It sucks that people accuse you of having an agenda and tell you to tone it down. Guess when I talk about healthy marriages I have an agenda since I'm straight! Good grief.

    Maybe you have the freedom not to tone it down *because* you're the interim?

    Anyway, I'm sorry you get guff from people, and I hope you can discern what word your congregation needs to hear tomorrow.

  16. Good morning preachers! I expect to be around all day. At least there is nothing on my calendar so I have no official reason not to be working on my sermon today. :-)

    Songbird, I have been keeping you and Sam in prayer. Sorry he's having a bad morning.

    I'll also be addressing the recent spate of LGBT teen suicides in the news through the story of the 10 lepers. I love Joy's idea of an adolescent leper trying to keep his disease a secret. Joy, hope it's ok if I play with that a bit.

    There actually isn't much breakfast food here. I may have to go to the market to get some turkey bacon to put with egg whites, pepper jack cheese and home made salsa in a breakfast burrito. Anybody else want one?

  17. Maria - YES PLEASE. That sounds so yummy!

  18. Still prayers in abundance here SB...for you and for Sam and your family.

    I'm not preaching tomorrow, TBTG, as we are having an intergenerational service where everyone but the church mice have a part. I'm not even sure if I should be in vestments...

    Anyway, today makes up for what I'm not doing tomorrow. Wedding at 1:00 with Difficult Couple (please pray that they arrive sober) - then a marriage prep meeting with Great Couple who will be wed in December. And another wedding at 4:00 with Nice Couple.


  19. God_Gurll, preach on the Gospel. Preach what speaks to you. Speak out against bullying - it doesn't just happen to GLBT happens to lots of kids - think of the girl that had spina bifida (I think that's what she had). If you make it about bullying with GLBT just one of the many groups in society that are bullied....?

  20. God_Guurrlll, I always thought an interim was supposed to shake people up and make them think about doing things differently.

    I second Earthchick's comment - preach the gospel! The injustice that has driven those teens to suicide needs to be preached and will be preached in many churches across the land, mine included. So why not yours? My prayers are with you.

    Just for coincidence sake - word verification for this post is hater. Hmmm

  21. Hey all, just checking in with some writing of my own to do. My reward for completing is softball games at 2 and 3 - fun, but exhausting with little left to offer afterwards.

    Sounds like some good stuff bubbling out there. I am pushed by the Gospel and how Luke makes mention of the stranger in a strange land being the one who sees the Truth. Luke makes sure the reader gets that by mentioning it 3x.

    I, an insider, would have done as Jesus said and run off to the priests - the outsider skipped the religious trimmings and simply turned to Jesus and said "thank you."

    Coffee, scones and muffins to offer here - good to see you all!

  22. Agreed - preach the gospel. From the heart. It's what we all do best.

  23. Thank you all for your words of support.

    This has been a very frustrating interim for me. I tried to stay true to my charge as an interim, I've been prophetic, I have challenged them by speaking the truth in love, I've held up the mirror and this congregation has not like what they have seen. However, rather than reflecting on what I brought to the table, they have decided that I'm just some young kid with fancy book learning and with no experience and they have summarily disregarded what I have said.

    Whenever I've challenged them "too much" out of nowhere come petty anonymous complaints about my hymn choices, the length of my sermons, the content of my pastoral prayers, basically anything but the issues that are really bothering them.

    I know this isn't about me, however I am human and at some point the pettiness does get to me. Since I've shifted my ministry emphasise away from the interim tasks, the anonymous complaints have stopped and most folks seem pleased as punch with my ministry. I don't know if I can handle the consequences of upsetting the apple cart again after my summer of coasting.

  24. God_Guurl I second rev maria----interims are supposed to shake things up a bit.

    On Thursday this week I got an e-mail reminding me of a Men's Breakfast this morning (that I was not aware was happening) but since then have heard nothing about when and where so I shall assume it was not well organized?????

    ANyway, T-giving for us. I am working on how remembering to be thanksful can lead to hope and optimism while choosing to only remember what we have to lament leads to the opposite.

    Or something like that. Memory and hope are in there somewhere.

  25. I'm back after picking up meds for Sam Dog, followed by the usual puttering procrastination of a Saturday morning. I'm wondering why I was excited about preaching Luke vs. Jeremiah or 2 Tim. But that's what I've got, so hopefully with the application of a little caffeine, the Spirit will move.
    G_G, I don't suppose people *ever* welcome us to be prophetic. Only you can know what God is calling you to preach on this particular Sunday.

  26. God_Guurrll i like mompriest's comment about including many forms of bullying rather than just focusin soley on GLBT as your illustration...

    because while i believe it is good to "push" sometimes... we also have to balance pushing in a way, that will open their ears & their hearts... we are called to make sure the message is heard... sometimes more subtle pushing is required. blessings to you as you formulate...

  27. oh dear, every time the Naaman and gospel passages come around I always have leopards in my brain and bad puns a-plenty about can lepers change their spots. Sooooo unhelpful, but it just is the way my brain works. I am the woman who wanted to write my undergrad dissertation on 6-8th c. Irish monk vomit after all.

    However, the other theme that comes up for me is that of margins. Re. the gospel passage, geographical margins: Jesus is travelling through the region 'between' Samaria and Galilee - so on the edge of both...

    Lepers were unclean so physically on the margins of the community as well as ritually

    The thankful leper was not 'one of us' but 'one of them'.

    Jesus walking and working the boundaries, re-drawing them in the process.

    Something else I was wondering about with regard to the text: the 10 all seem to be working together - in their common adversity boundaries of race/ religion seem to disappear as together, they go to meet Jesus. After they've been healed it would appear the divisions seem to pop back up into place. Just musing on this at the moment... and putting a pot of earl grey tea on to share.

  28. @Nik - monk vomit, LOL! When I was in seminary I was obsessed with Catherine of Sienna who used to drink pus. I almost wrote a my masters thesis on her.

  29. Joining the party late today - and my sermon is not even started. Daughter just left, I've spent the last 48 hours walking with her as she's dealing with her latest depressive crisis. And I think I may have to banish Son to the basement - I simply cannot write a sermon with Family Guy in the background! Another edisode in "My Life with Teenagers."

    I am preaching on the ten lepers and seeing. David Lose's reference to 'cataract surgery' at made me think of how we see, which made me think of that scene in Avatar where the Navii girl tells the marine that he doesn't know how to really see. I'm going to watch that part again and think about how we become so used to God's wondrous activity that we take miracles and blessings for granted (like the nine). Something is brewing that feels like it will be a sermon.

    There's cinnamon rolls if anyone wants them.

  30. G_G -- I do think that interims are called/allowed to shake things up a bit, be more honest, more direct. At least, that's what our interim says. He also says he's here to make sure we don't work all the time, like we have been during.

    That being said, I like what mompriest said about including more kinds of bullying. But only you and the Holy Spirit can discern.

    I'm almost done with an "intro to stewardship season" sermon on the 10 lepers. all about worship and giving thanks, and how we see our lives and God. I've been thinking about the bullyiing stories all week, too, in terms of what images both the bulliers and the bullied have when they see themselves -- and God -- and how we are called to proclaim and live into a different image.

    Now, I have to get back to stewardship...

  31. Good morning RevGals (&Guys)! This morning I have homegrown honey, courtesy of my longtime friend and seminary roommate, who has become (amongst other things) a beekeeper. Harvested and bottled in the summertime, the honey was a gift to my sweetheart and me as we passed through North Carolina last week. It's a delectable treasure that will be gone all too soon, but for you, I'm willing to share. Come on by.

    With traveling and other pressing commitments, I'm missing blogging for a few weeks, but just wanted to swing through and say hello. God_Guurrlll, blessings to you, and amen to what Songbird said about how people don't often welcome us to be prophetic! I'm thinking of Elijah in the wilderness, fleeing for his life, and fed by the ravens--may sources of sustenance swoop close to you on this and all days.

    @Nik, fellow lover of margins--amen! Some of my favorite margins are in medieval books, where artists and scribes let their imaginations loose in the boundary-places. Rima Staines (of The Hermitage, one of my all-time favorite blogs) has another wonderful blog where she's posted her dissertation (with pictures!), titled Misrule,
    Mockery & Monstrosity in Marginal Medieval Art
    . It's tasty food for thought, especially for those whose lives and ministries take them to marginal prophets' lives often do. A good reminder of the wild and wondrous things that God stirs up along the edges, and invites us to be part of.

    Blessings to all.

  32. lol Nik! Monk vomit, pus... almost makes me glad I'm not preaching this week. Almost...

    I'm just hoping all goes *relatively* well for our intergenerational 'Thanks-living' service. These services are always a bit unpredictable, but usually fun.

  33. I've started writing, but I'm not convinced I have anything worth expanding upon, so I am thinking a break for lunch and a fresh start might be in order.
    Why did I choose those lepers?

  34. Songbird you chose lepers because Jesus chose lepers. just sayin' ;)

  35. good morning (here anyway) all! I'm loving these comments - and especially grateful for Nik's levity.

    earthchick-wishing sometimes that I believed in that kind of god who would cool the pool so we dont have to drive thru traffic. but, direct divine intervention or not - tbtg for that!

    eh, songbird, sorry to hear that dear Sam is poorly. thinking of you all...

    OK, i have WAAAYYYY too many ideas today. Got a heartfelt offer to offer a testimony yesterday that I will certainly include, we are blessing prayer shawls which is a first for us and I jsut realized I dont have any readers for that yet, we have a special offering thing by someone else, I've been gone for a week, so there'll be all the usual catching up with folks....

    And none of that even INCLUDES the actual SERMON, which is also a big mess of ideas. Coming out day? Leopard jokes? Gratitude? True healing? Etc???

    Fortunatly, by word verf is LUCKS, so I know I can do anyting.....

  36. I had a "front porch" (picked that up awhile back here in th 11th hour party) on my sermon on Thursday.

    Errands etc this lunch (BBQ hamburgers)... then on to the rest of the sermon.

    Luke text for me. Similar to kathyrnzj, hope the sermon points to what it is like to wear new beyond the boundaries...and that the one person recognized there was more to what was going one.

    Lots of good churning here...thanks.

  37. Joy, did not know you could scramble tofu. Interesting.
    And GG, I totally think you have to shake things up a bit. I had a horrible first call because of lack of interim work. I worked really hard in my interim call to be sure I had them ready and I decided not to pursue a call because of them not having proper interim work.
    It is tough work, but needed work.

  38. Good news: I did some writing.
    Bad news: I did not eat lunch.
    At this point, I think I can safely take the break and come back to it. Anyone want a Diet Pepsi?

  39. Here's my sermon. I would appreciate your comments as I am shaking in my shoes as I think about preaching this tomorrow.

  40. Went out for that turkey bacon but took The Husband for breakfast on the way to the market to keep the costs down a bit. After that a trip to the farmers market where I bought some lovely brightly colored Taqua earrings which I dare not wear in the pulpit because no one will hear a word I'm saying. The Husband said he bets I wish I had been wearing those attention grabbing earrings some Sundays. ( And no, I did not ask him which sermons he didn't like. :-)

    God_Guurrlll, if I sounded earlier as if I was saying "this is what you must do" I ask your forgiveness. I did not intend to come off that way and certainly did not want to add to the pain you are already experiencing. You will preach on whatever HS gives you to preach on and whatever you choose will be the right thing to have chosen this week. You know your people and I do not.

    Right now my sermon consists of a list of names and some ideas lifted directly from comments you all have made here. I need to do settle down to more reading and some writing. But it's such a lovely day here. Maybe I'll take my laptop out on the patio and keep Buppy the Babbit company while I write.

  41. God_Guurrll - Amen *with tears in my eyes*

  42. hi there,

    still in Idea Soup - lots of ideas, not quite gelling yet.

    Back from a rainy walk with a whiny 8 year old. And, praying: Oh, heal us from our own worst selves, as we banish whiny children unto the outer darkness, or at least unto their rooms until their attitude shapeth up. Amen.

    Maybe that walk shook something loose. We shall see....

  43. Have a very rough outline of a sermon, so it must be time to let the Spirit percolate during a nap. While choppng giger, I had a great idea of how to include those young people who took thier lives because of bullying in to a sermon on 'seeing', but I forgot how to tie it in, so maybe the nap will dredge it back up.

    I made a fresh batch of ginger syrup today, so I can offer homemade gingerale for a refreshing afternoon pick-me-up!

  44. I've just learned about The Trevor Project, which might work in to some of our sermons. Why isn't the church offering this kind of support to LGBTQ youth?

  45. I'm here, working away, making notes on those ten lepers, but I just desperately want a nap. I have Sunday's sermon to write and a wedding reflection for Sunday afternoon. At least the other two big things today went well, without a hitch.

    Sorry, I was going to say something witty here but forgot what it was.

  46. Definitely sounds like naptime, semfem. :-)

  47. Last load of laundry: check
    Salad prepared for stewardship dinner tomorrow: check

    Sermon: check

    Zumba: uncheck
    Dinner: uncheck
    Concert: uncheck

  48. Gah. I feel like I am never going to be done writing this, and I am already sick of my own words. BAH!

  49. well, after much tweeking, editing, and rewrites....I have posted it: What Feeds Your Soul - as always, comments welcome....

    now off to read the other offerings here....

  50. God-guurrlll and Purple - read your sermons and all I can say is AMEN!!

    Now to finish my own...

  51. How goes it out there? It's dinnertime in the Eastern U.S. I'm in a quiet house as my daughter is at a sleepover, so I've got some microwave Thai noodles with peanut sauce. I just posted my sermon, which is a relief, though who knows if it makes sense? Let's hope it does. It's called "The L Word."

  52. earthchick, isn't that usually what you say right before you hit the accelerator and go?

  53. Hahaha, Songbird! You know me well, friend.

    Okay, maybe if I quit flitting around looking at pretty things on the internet, I could actually hit the accelerator. Here I gooooooooo!

  54. ramona, it's warm here today, tomorrow too! fresh homemade gingerale sounds delightful!

  55. hey there, preachers. getting started with the words to document thing rather late as usual but do have ideas in the brain. preaching off lectionary, celebrating children's sabbath, and i selected the luke passage of jesus lost in jerusalem. going with kids reminding us what really matters and how we lose jesus by focusing on the trivial. but no actual beginnings yet....thinking of using home alone as my intro, but also thinking it's kinda dated. hmm....

  56. omg, it's 6pm Saturday night and after a crazy day I have just realized that I have ABSOLUTELY NO IDEA what kind of children's time to do tomorrow. HoS is preaching on jeremiah...something about praising God and living life even in the midst of what seems like despair...or something like that. His private summary to me earlier in the week was "God says to get over it and get on with life in this new place already."

    Umm...I have no idea where to go with that with children...

  57. Trying to write in between bathtime and bedtime. Then hoping to hit it bit more afterward. Could be a loong night. Trying to preach a word of Jeremiah's hope to hurting adolescents, posing the questions of what do we do for these young people as adults and parents that love them, but pushing against the text that says, 'wait it out' when we want and need justice now. I'm anxious about preaching LBGT issues to a congregation that has, until now, avoided that because 'it's not our issue...' We'll see how they respond to being pushed.

    Songbird, if you're just learning about the Trevor Project, maybe you've missed the you tube videos titled "It gets better," started by columnist Dan Savage and his partner. They are worth looking at alongside the Trevor Project message.

    May the Spirit with all of us as we try and preach a prophetic and/or comforting word.

    Just finished yummy homemade corn chowder for all who need some sustinence.

  58. Thanks, julieannemery, I'm glad to know that.

  59. friends - tell me that thing again about how just when you hate what you are writing the most, that's when you really get going...

  60. That's totally how it works for me, Juniper. Just when I think I'm the worst sermon-writer ever, bereft of creativity and the Spirit, I get rolling.
    Or I turn on Shrek 2 and hope the sound of Antonio Banderas as Boots will break the writer's block. ;-)

  61. Hi preachers. have been at Diocesan Convention and a Funeral + Reception afterward. Long day.

    I'm still thinking about addressing GLBT bullying issues (created several posts on my blog this week as I was thinking about the topic), have a good number of notes on my trusty clipboard from all week too. However I'm not going to do it if I can't do it well and don't have a full text.

    So the plan is try to take a couple hour nap, if my brain is working review notes etc and see if I think this is the week, or if next week might be better. In which case I still have to come up with *something* to say about Naaman and the healing of the lepers.

    will probably check in later. I tend to be one of the nightowls ;) Hope the sermonating is going well for folks. :)

  62. God Guurrlll... I agree with folks, go with Holy Spirit and the Gospel and GLBT current issues if that's where you really feel you're supposed to go. (and your post has also encouraged me to see if I really can go there too this week, rather than waiting til next week - thanks!)

    As for "only" the Interim and walking on eggshells so to speak... uh do they understand part of the ministry of Interims is not just to help bridge the gap/transition, but also to shake things up a bit, help them see what they need to be looking at and working on in order to a) move forward with their mission and ministry and b) be ready and in a good place to call the next permanent priest/pastor?

  63. I'm joining the party late, courtesy of events today at BOTH of my husband's church. Fresh fish and hot soup are available for anyone interested, and we can follow that up with a truly exceptional lemon meringue pie.
    As for sermonizing, I'm looking at the 2 Timothy passage and what it means for God's word to be unchained. Currently thinking about what it means to free the Word from the printed page...but not sure how to flesh that out.
    Homemade ginger ale sounds like fun. I would love to learn how to make it! Wonder if it would work with a sugar substitute?

  64. Anyone else doing Dr. Seuss' Sneetches for the Children's sermon?

  65. Omigosh, kathrynzj. That is brilliant! I hope I can find our copy.

  66. I'm pretty sure I've used the sneeches as an example in a regular sermon or 2 before. It's one of my fav Dr. Seuss stories "they had no stars upon thars" :)

    And God Gurl... I saw you posted a link to your sermon... will try to pop over and check it tonight.

  67. I am reading this for Children's time. Same author as Old Turtle (and I have a third by him called Grandad's Prayers of the Earth) Even better, standing up beside the decorationt he UCW put up this afternoon it blends right in

  68. Rev Anne - I got my ginger syrup recipe from The one I use also makes ginger candy out of the boiled ginger. I haven't found one using a sugar substitute. The sugar makes it syrupy. Maybe that wouldn't matter long as it was ginger infused and sweet....hmmmm. I might have to experiment.

  69. hey songbird! it worked. now have enough of a draft that I can run out to our fellowship dinners (progressive dinner for me only tonite! love it!). see you all in the wee hours for polishing.

    also -kids time? ideas re gospel?

  70. ramona: thanks, I got it! Ming Tsai's recipe, right?
    Can't wait to give it a to find a local asian market for that quantity of ginger...
    And now, back to the sermon. It has taken on a life of its own. This could be a good thing...or maybe not.

  71. I am BACK after my final event of the day...although right now finishing these two sermons would certainly qualify as an event!

    Wedding reflection...Sunday sermon...come to me now...

    Maybe I'll browse through the sermons y'all have posted! Glad to see so many are finished.

  72. Friends, I'm going to hit the sack, although I know it seems early. Good writing vibes to all who are still at it. I'll be back in the morning with the coffee! Good night.

  73. I have a preachable draft - finally. "Crablen" is my verification word, and I am sure it means what I have been doing for the last two hours - rewriting, scribbling, crossing out and grumbling under my breath that a conclusion won't appear.

    Now for a bit of TV before the final read through. I thank God profusely for rescuing me from Saturday evening football by creating the ability to watch "Hell's Kitchen" on my computer!

    Spirit, blow on all of us wrestling with the Word this evening!

  74. RevAnne - try Sav-a-lot for the ginger. The ones around here carry quite a bit. Also, if you're not morally opposed to shopping there, I found my last batch at Walmart for a reasonable price.

  75. Well, I'm encourage ( I think) that I should get going any time now because I really hate my words. BAH, was that the word, earthchick?

  76. Yes! BAH! That is the word! I am pulling my hair out, trying to get my words right. I keep reading it over and boring myself to tears. I am using the word "chained" way too much, for one thing.


    But I am getting very close. I hope I am almost done. Then I can get my Sunday School lesson ready!

  77. been rewriting/reworking the sermon all day. went with Luke and used the westminster catechism "what is the chief end of humanity?" as the sermon title...focusing on embodied gratitude and doxological living...but, I'm afraid it's still not together. I'm hoping the rest of the liturgy including the mission trip commissioning fills in the gaps

    prayers for focus and clarity for the rest of you!

    I've got plenty of diet coke!

  78. Good Evening All.
    Hoep things are progressing for you. I am moving a little slow for now. Preaching in the AM at a church I have considered as potential call, but nothing offical yet.
    Had to watch football today and it was a good day for my team. Not so much for the neighboring teams and now time to finish up the sermon. Also, got to get my head around a different order of worship.
    Ah, not the lazy Saturday night I am accustomed to having

  79. Hi all,

    I'm hitting the hay. Sermon printed, prayers printed and even my confirmation lesson is printed.

    Thank you for your words of support, both here and on my blog. I'm so glad to have my blog pals lifting me and the HS having my back.

    In the words of that immortal tenth leper, Praise God and Thank You Jesus.

  80. Oh, mercy. Just finished my draft. Now on to Sunday School. This is a later night than I like to have.

    But I'm fairly pleased with the sermon, which took off in places I didn't expect.

    Blessings on all y'all!

  81. Argggh! Supply pulpit sermons!!!! It's so hard to get past generalities when you don't have a context!!!!! My sermon tonight is so insipid.

    But it is what it is. So unless the HS drops the words in my mouth in the morning, I'll have to go with it.

    Come Holy Spirit come!

  82. Weak but done. I don't have the energy to post it. Maybe tomorrow. I'm off to set up the coffee pot because I will need it to refresh and edit in the morning.
    Goodnight and good luck to the writers.

  83. Whew! Done.
    It's going up at my place shortly.

  84. Signing out for the evening. See ya in the AM.
    I will have a pot of Fair Trade brewing and some raisin bran muffins.

  85. hello pals,
    back from dinner with parishoners, including a long episode of getting lost, so home later than I thought. but things are actually looking ok here. got the sermon to a one-more-time-thru-outta-do-it place, so I'm calling it a night.

    Preach on, ladies!

  86. well I kind of got a nap, but still exhausted, so will I stay up now or get a little more sleep and do a real early morning... time to go figure it out. :/

    nice to know I'm not the only one wrestling with it today and proud of all those who have preachable versions - you go girls! :)

  87. Wow, I thought for sure I'd be alone this late, but I see I am not! I fell asleep a few times as I tried to write...we'll see if I can get something going now and stay awake long enough to see it through.

  88. struggling through, but comforted to see I am not alone in that.

    may be preaching "without a net" this morning (aka manuscript)

    every sermon is a walk of faith - I think this one is a LEAP!

    Blessings all!

  89. Fell asleep for a while longer, then woke up and just finished writing the sermon. Whew! Now to whip out a quick wedding reflection before getting ready for the day.

    I can't wait to sleep in on Monday!

  90. Done! Yay! Now off to print and get ready for the morning.

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

  91. The coffee is hot, for one last blast before church. I've got banana bread, too.
    Whatever you're feeling this morning, never forget the Holy Spirit has your back!
    (I need that one myself this morning.)

  92. Thanks for the coffee. Like SemFem I'd stayed up a while, got tired again, actually got a good hour of REM sleep. I'd wanted to have a whole text if I was going to go there today, but I'm still feeling drawn to go there - so will see what the next hour brings. May not have time to type it all out. I do think I could have at least a more extended outline than I often do. What I'm considering is putting my video camera at the back of the sancutary, or my camera that will also record audio in the pulpit.

  93. I DID IT - preached on LGBT teen suicides and came out as an Ally and my parishioners were supportive and appreciative. I do have most of a full text, but didn't preach exactly word for word. Hoping the audio recording came out so I can revise my hard copy to read exactly as preached. Will try to post something later.

    How'd everyone else's Sunday's go?

  94. bythesea, thanks for sharing your experience. I got very positive feedback this morning on the nature of the message, and I was glad to hear it, since this is a very new call.
    I hope others will check in about this, too.

  95. Ended up drawing a parallel between Jeremiah & the It Gets Better Project (a future with hope) and Luke & the Make It Better Now Project.

    Encouraging us to find the path of radical love that brings future with hope & reaches out to make everyone an "insider".

    No manuscript, just notes. But the Spirit moved and however it came out of my mouth folks appreciated.

    And now, after wrestling all night, I am finding rest!

  96. I'm so glad to read good reports about your sermons! I am feeling really good about how mine went, too. Thanks to the conversations we had over here this past week, esp. your contributions yesterday, I also chose to say some words about the bullying/suicides and about the importance of standing against hatred, exclusion, shaming, etc. I had lots of positive response and am so pleased.

    Now, naptime!!

  97. Oh, hey - thanks for your reports friends. Glad to hear that most things went better than expected.

    Today went amazingly at my place. Mostly because of a last-hours call from a woman who wanted to offer a testimony about experiences brought up by the bullying stuff this week. It was INCREDIBLE and beautiful.

    Several people said that it was just a very special service today and I felt so, too. AND somehow with all the extra stuff and a long-ish sermon, not even too long :b


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