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Saturday, October 16, 2010

11th Hour Preacher Party: Superior Persistence Edition

At the 2006 Festival of Homiletics, I heard one of the best sermons I've ever experienced in my life, and I was in the room with some of my RevGalBlogPals. How many of you remember the Rev. Dr. Kenneth L. Samuel's persuasive message about the persistent widow? He's the pastor of Victory United Church of Christ in Stone Mountain, Georgia, and I can't think of that whole service, the last night of the festival, without smiling. Victory's choir and liturgical dancers brought an incredible energy to the Peachtree United Methodist Church, a place that had already felt spirit-filled throughout the week. But like the widow in the gospel lesson for this week, the people from Victory brought a something more, and I can still hear Rev. Dr. Samuel's energetic depiction of the widow following the judge home, appearing wherever he turned, even looking in at his window.

We're here today to support each other in finding that something extra we can bring to our own congregations tomorrow. So tell us, what goes on at your church or in family this weekend? Are there challenges? Treats? Special occasions? Is there some person or situation that requires superior persistence from you this week?

Join the discussion in the comments and let us know how you're doing. I can promise persistently superior coffee until it's time for Diet Pepsi! 

117 comments:

  1. good morning! I'm off to Diocesan Convention, may check in for camraderie later. :) not 100% sure where sermon is headed. I'm kind of thinking a "maybe it's this... but it could be this" type of sermon around persistance, first with us as widow and 2nd as God as the widow. but also kind of drawn to Jeremiah and the new covenant being written on our hearts.

    Peace y'all. I'll leave you some virtual blueberry scones from our local bakery. :)

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  2. Good morning.

    I was up 2 hours ago, but due to a anti-virus upgrade and the desire of the doggie members of the family to be fed and walked, I am just pulling up to the party now.

    I am toying with flipping the parable on its head, potentially in the name of preferring to be wrong than boring... but I'd rather not be wrong.

    Thank you SB for the memories of FoH 2006. I wasn't there but certainly a vivid picture of the stalking widow could be painted.

    I've brought a tray of scones, muffins, and warm cinnamon buns - please enjoy and blessings on everyone's day.

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  3. Anyone thinking about including the miners? I always hesitate to use piping hot current events in the sermons, for one reason, we never know what the eventual outcome will be.

    Certainly we have a persistence piece to this story...

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  4. Hi, y'all. bythesea, I hope the Convention goes well. kathrynzj, I tend to glance up against an event rather than make it the complete key to the sermon. Well, except for that guy whose daughter threw the ball back. I let a whole sermon ride on that story coming at the end. :-)

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  5. Today's list of things that must me accomplished only by me is way too long for a Saturday!

    Maybe by the time I can get back to comment I'll know if I'm preaching from Luke or Jeremiah.

    See you later, alligator

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  6. Glad to hear from you, Vicar.
    My Saturday is relatively unencumbered, but I have a bad cold and wonder if I will have a voice tomorrow, when I have worship, Blessing of the Animals and Confirmation.

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  7. Someone on tuesday suggested flipping the traditional interpretation of judge as God, widow as us to widow as God, judge as us. And, like bythesea, methinks I'm going there. So, I've just written the first portion (w/ some historical/critical) and just flipped it. But now I'm having motivational issues :)

    That said, leftover sweet potato anyone? And, I can brew another pot.

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  8. I don't understand how anyone ever considered God to be the judge in this parable. That's way too literal. Jesus is saying God is NOT like a human judge. Isn't he?
    Wish we had the context for this one. Was there some popular story in the community, sort of the Chilean miner's widow of Galilee?

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  9. Hi all, I had to finish my sermon early because I have plans today. I'll try to check in sometime this evening.

    The sermon is here. Enjoy

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  10. Just thinking 'out loud' here... I wonder if in this era of the prosperity gospel if it needs to be pointed out that this persistence was for justice, not prosperity.

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  11. ooohhhh, I like!!! Justice not prosperity!!! Woo-HOOO!!!

    Okay, totally procrastinating...HELP!

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  12. Good morning! I'm fresh off a 12.5 hour drive home from vacation all day yesterday. A sermon will need to be written at some point today. I'm off lectionary the next 5 weeks doing a series on some themes from Reformed theology. I am promising folks it won't be as boring as that sounds. This week - - sovereignty of God that leads us to lives of worship.

    But first, shopping for a 4 year olds birthday party today, dropping off 3 year old at said birthday party, a visit to a parishioner in the hospital who just received his terminal diagnosis, some Nebraska football, picking the 3 year old back up from birthday party, and the rest of Nebraska football.

    I've got priorities.

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  14. i opted to leave the widow and instead go with the commemoration of St. Luke (Oct 18)... and overall focus on the wellness of our souls... we'll see.

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  15. Doing something about the widow and the judge, and about how different God is than the judge, and about the nature of the persistence of faith when we seek justice, but i havent got the hook yet...and the danged quote mark key on my laptop has died, so I am bumfuzzled.

    Oh, and there are omelettes on the counter for you.

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  16. I have a long stretch of sermonating ahead of me and plenty of quiet to do it - hubby is at work till 3 and the son has tech rehearsal until the evening (of course, no telling if daughter will decide to drop in with a "crisis"!)

    The gals at Dirty, Sexy Ministry have a great post about facing the unknown, faith, and anxiety. I'm pondering how the parable of the widow talks to our anxiety. After a conversation with a parishioner last week, it is clear that the congregation where I am supplying is heavily awash in anxiety.

    And then there's Jacob and the fabulous story of him wrestling with God - and receiving a new name. How do we name ourselves, and what by what new name have we been claimed?

    Vicar - I am so glad that I am not the only one who is still undecided on what text to use!

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  17. I have a draft, using Jeremiah, Luke, and a smidge of 2 Tim. looking at the idea that God's justice is peace...in a world full of hostility, sometimes all we can do is pray, but from prayer can come inner peace? Once again I'm a supply priest, but I have been with this parish once before....

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  18. Supply preaching at a new place this week. Working with Jeremiah, how God is persistent with the people in renewing the covenant. So far, I have a recounting of the covenant history between the people and God which is ok, but very boring. I had considered the Chilean mine story but I'm also usually hesitant to use "news story of the week" in the sermon. Hmm. More thinking to do. Definitely needs something to spice it up.

    In the meantime, we're off to the pumpkin patch to take pictures of our little pumpkins. Then I need to make something for the preschool bake sale tomorrow but am short an egg. Does anyone have one I could borrow?

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  20. Laundry done - bread for diocesan eucharist baked. Now to write sermon... Going with Luke - this reading reminds me of several others: summarizing what Jesus teaches us about God in several places "if you who are evil know how to give good gifts to your children...how much more will your parent in heaven..." taking Luke from the abstract and moving it to the personal. I'm saving the flip for the very end as something to take home and ponder.

    Stuff Christians Like had a post on the Chilean Miners (#876)

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  21. My last dream of the night/morning was of me doing a lecture at a nearby seminary - why I wore full Eucharistic vestments to lecture isn't quite clear to me ;-). In any case, the last thing I did was pray straight from Jeremiah. Well, I have had dreams lead me in the right direction before so I am pretty sure Jeremiah will have pride of place in tomorrow's homily. It will be short and has to lead into a celebration of our ministries at St. C's. Then it is stewardship luncheon time.
    So today is sermon, preparing for the luncheon and tearing myself away from a good mystery by a new-to-me author.
    I do have ham and slaw sandwiches for the hungry and the electric kettle can always be turned on for more tea.

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  22. Oh, and the miners are definitely making an appearance. All that communal work across boundaries that helped make their rescue happen. Something like that....

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  23. I've been trying to finish my reading this morning. SHe Rev, you have way too much to do today.
    I swapped lectionary texts with next week in order to use the timothy text for a seminary sunday (Bethany, our lone seminary) but we are going to have to postpone it till nov. 7. So I've feeling a bit out of place.

    we are going outside for part of the service (using Ps. 84) to both appreciate creation and our church from a different perspective. I hope it warms up earlier than today.

    SongBird, tell me about blessing the animals on a Sunday. Iwant to do that at a sunday worship but haven't figured out how to manage it.

    I'm fighting a cold so drinking echinechea tea today, have some to share if you need it.

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  24. Good morning. I'll be writing in between other events today. I'm attending a memorial service for a friend this morning and have a date with my Red Hat Society sisters for dinner.

    I am going with the persistent widow and have toyed with the idea of God as widow and us as unjust judge. I also LOVE the idea of the widow as stalker - she'd never get away with that behavior today! I'm just not sure yet. I know I'm ending with We Shall Overcome - I'm just dealing with the small matter of how I'm going to get there. :-)

    kathrynzj, I often use current events in my sermons in keeping with the the theological instruction from Karl Barth to "preach with the Bible in one hand and the newspaper in the other". Not knowing how the story will turn out is often a plus.

    Meanwhile, please pass the scones.

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  25. I have to leave until much later. The Boy returns at noon, wedding at 3, softball games at 6 and 8 (those may become optional depending on weather and how late they are running).

    I was open to preaching with the miners, but don't think it's necessary. My title and theme are "Answer Me!" with the beginning of the sermon focusing on persistence of our prayers and then flipping it at the end as God knocks on our door seeking justice saying, "Answer me!"

    I will be back later as I will need to pull the thing together, but at least the words are down on paper.

    Peace friends.

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  26. I have an outline, but my tea is cold. Seeking inspiration to get it down..

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  27. This has been stewardship week here, and despite a good program, a fantastic guest preacher last Sunday, and lots of cheerleading and encouragement and invitation to take part, attendance at events (church and brunch last Sunday and "Cottage Meetings" during the week) has been just abysmal--really, really low. I spent yesterday feeling really disheartened, not just about this year's stewardship but about everything I've been trying to rev up here in the last year (b/c I can overgeneralize with the best of them.) So a message of persistence is apt for me if not for the entire congregation. (I sort of knew this on Tuesday, but it is even more clear now).

    So we must be persistent--but not just in asking God for those things we want, but in coming before God with all our troubles and needs. Just as God is persistent in calling us to lives of faith and devotion--and like a few others, I am tempted to turn the parable around a bit to make this point--God keeps on calling us over and over even just as the widow kept after the judge.

    Eh. Now I just need to turn that into a sermon...

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  28. I have been so touched - almost obsessed by the "It Gets Better" videos on you tube this week, that I am working those into the sermon - and our own culpability as adults who watch/allow uncivil conversations to unfold - what that models for teens - and as church-folk who have touted the abomination of God flag over the centuries...

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  29. Since last I commented, I've been out with my dog, run a few little errands and come home to do battle with the vacuum cleaner. Apparently it's much easier to take the front part off a Kirby and use the hose attachment than it is to set things to rights again. I remember this vaguely, but it always takes time to remember how much muscle is required to get the belt back on again.
    I'm reading over the opening I wrote on Thursday and hoping I still like it. It's one of those childhood set-ups, and I think it works, but I don't really know. I could use a nap. Trying to resist...

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  30. Hello preachers! I'm stopping off to give you all a pat on the back, a prayer for inspiration and a loaf of virtual lemon bread.. I also have a prayer request, if that's okay. Not quite ready to make this request as "public" as it might turn into on the prayer blog, however, those of you who have known me may recall the difficult time I had about a year and a half ago as I made the decision to resign my church of ten years. I'm married to a prison chaplain, and he doesn't intend to leave that, so opportunities for me (a woman in a male-dominated denom and one of a "certain ago" besides) were very limited. However, hubby just found out that he can transfer to a prison that is not far from a church that has recently begun a pastoral search. Since he has plenty of seniority, if he wants the transfer he will have it...so...I'm gathering info and polishing my resume up, and stopping here to share the opportunity with all of you.

    I know change is coming...been "knowing" that for a couple of months. But whether this is it is a big question.

    As much as sermon prep is no easy thing, I sure miss it.

    Thanks, everyone, and you all have my prayers for wonderful preaching and a wonderful Spirit presence tomorrow.

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  31. Singing Owl, you have my prayers that the way will be clear.

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  32. SO, prayers for you indeed!

    ElastiGirl, I've been watching those videos as well; they are so painful and powerful and supportive.

    I, too, am doing taking the Tuesday upside down suggestion at our family service. I'm putting paper taped to the walls around the church naming various people--Jesus, Moses, Mother Teresa, Desmond Tutu for starters (last two are in our stained glass windows)--and then giving families paper and markers; I'll ask them to pick one or two and think/write/draw about how God is pestering us through these people. Have to work out the details, but I am happy with the concept :-)

    There will be a dinner feast here tonight as we entertain 3 other couples from our church (5 total of us are clergy, so it won't be a late night, either!); drop by around 6:00!

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  33. It is windy today, but I still managed to grill for lunch. Now, the sermon wait. Mostly Luke for me, and looking at the first verse...pray always and do not lose heart!

    Lots of fascinating research on the brain and what happens, physiologically when we pray...and perhaps that is also a source of our persistance.

    Hope college FB is not too much of a distraction today.

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  34. Singing Owl, many prayers that this opportunity holds God's leading for you. It sounds like fun possibility.

    I've finished my draft (and my tea, it does help the coming cold). My focus is stewardship of creation and I know I'm planting some of my own pet desires for our congregation. I hope I'm not preaching 'at' anyone in particular but I do know there are feelings out there about us being given the earth to 'use'. I'm trying to encourage sustainability as in 'use but don't use it all up'. I hope.
    Do you ever have that problem of 'preaching' to someone/s???

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  35. Nancy, I have definitely done that! I sometimes feel totally righteous about it and other times feel a little mean. It sounds like your approach is moderate enough to open conversation. People who are old-timers understand as frugality what we now look at as conservation or being "green," so that might be a place to draw people together.

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  36. I am preaching on the alternate Hebrew Scriptures text, about Jacob wrestling with.... angel, God, brother, LIFE. My title is "wrestling with the truth." I stole the idea from Songbird. Thanks Songbird!

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  37. good idea SB, i think I'll rephrase something now... thanks

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  38. I've got a very rough draft. I'm at the point now where I'm antsy. I need to get up and move and chew on the sermon for awhile. So I think I'll put the sermon aside, and do some prep work for dinner and make the baked apples I've been meaning to fix for a week now.

    In a few minutes I'll have some fresh veggies for everyone to munch on.

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  39. Not preaching tomorrow (*ducks the flying keyboards*) as a congregant speaking about a program that she attended with congregational support. Since it is about food it ties in well with World Food Day. ANd even better, since I was out of town half the week it fit in well with the schedule.

    However I need a World Food Day-themed Children's Time. Ideas anyone????

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  40. Oh Gord. Thanks for reminding me. I ALWAYS need a children's message! Hey RevGal powers that be! How about a post devoted to children's messages every week? Or do people think this is the best place to share those? It's just occurring to me as I try to avoid finishing my sermon.

    And in other urgent requests, a children's message about either the persistent widow or Jacob wrestling would be welcome.

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  41. I quickly hammered out a draft that I will return to later this afternoon...a trip to Whole Foods might be in order in the meantime.

    Betsy, I love your idea for your family service!!

    Prayers SO, for discernment all around!

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  42. crap, children's sermon. Thanks for the reminder.

    Pumpkin patch was great fun, lots of all sizes, cute pictures, played some games. Then out to lunch, just the four of us. This kind of morning is rare around here, and we enjoyed it. Lemon squares (from scratch,real butter, thankyouverymuch) are in the oven.

    Now to see how much sermon I can get to before naptime is over.

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  43. i'm sure you all know this one already, but I find Sermons4kids a great resource. i very seldom use somethiing from there word-for-word, but they have great jumping off points. You can look up the passages by biblical address.

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  44. Thanks Elastigirl, I will check it out.

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  45. I'm joining the party for precisely 98 minutes. I spent the week with my dad (he was visiting from WA) and spent this morning with the high school youth group on a stewardship-of-creation mission project. This evening I'll be with the middle school youth group at the corn maze. So I have 97 minutes remaining to write a sermon. If it doesn't get done now, I'll be back LATE (around 10 central!) to try to do it then. ACK!

    I'm working on jeremiah...something about God transforming us into people (or a people) who are "more than meets the eye"...but I'm also trying to avoid the violent connotations of The Transformers. Plus our stewardship campaign (with the theme of Transformation, LOL) kicks off tomorrow. And then the HoS's installation is in the afternoon, and I somehow ended up in charge of that service...and then there's confirmation after that (only barely planned). I'm hoping to survive the weekend so I can retreat with some other young clergy women next week. If you don't find me in Maine by Monday afternoon, you know something bad happened with my marathon 30 hour weekend...

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  46. I've written a lot of words, but I'm not sure they're saying what I meant to say. I almost wish I hadn't looked at my sermon from three years ago, because (1) I liked it and (2) I went a different way on purpose this time but (3) I liked it!
    Our Blessing of the Animals will be at 3 p.m., so it's not part of the morning worship. It will be a short liturgy followed by individual blessings, wrapped up with a prayer.

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  47. I'm not familiar with World Food Day, but I'm guessing it has to do with the distribution (or lack thereof) of food around the world. One of the things that has worked really well with the kids in school chapel is using the data about food/hunger, education, health care, "development" (electricity, fresh water, plumbing, and so on) by having representative portions of the congregation stand up for each statistic. Gives it a very visual context and can be a good starting point for how it feels to be on either side of the resources. Search on "If the World Were a Village" and you'll find the numbers. You can probably find ones more specific to food issues with a little bit of digging. JAT!

    Portions of the house are getting really clean; this is one of the reasons we have company :-) Both sons are at camp on Catalina with the youth group this weekend, so the clean and tidy will even last until mid-afternoon Sunday!

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  48. Convention worship was great and we got a beautiful Autumn day too. Picked up a hot apple cider with caramel on the way home. thinking I may try for a little nap before more work on sermon.

    I can see all those sermons simmering. thanks for sharing your thoughts. :)

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  49. I think I have a draft. Well, I have a draft, but I also think I may not like it so much. Is it risky to admit you sometimes find it hard to pray? Or will that make people feel better when it's hard for them? I'm going to let it simmer while I feed the dog and see about dinner for 15yo and me, then come back to it.
    Anyone want sushi? I think we're picking some up at Whole Foods.

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  50. I think I have a draft. Well, I have a draft, but I also think I may not like it so much. Is it risky to admit you sometimes find it hard to pray? Or will that make people feel better when it's hard for them? I'm going to let it simmer while I feed the dog and see about dinner for 15yo and me, then come back to it.
    Anyone want sushi? I think we're picking some up at Whole Foods.

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  51. Argh. I've preached on this Jeremiah passage at least three times, plus done a big research paper on it. Something in it really speaks to me on a deep level and always has, but I am pathetically unable to articulate it, in any of the previous work and especially today. Grr.

    But the lemon squares are done, and you are welcome to help yourselves, as long as you leave some for the bake sale.

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  52. SO, you have my prayers also.

    I'm back from the memorial service, the football game is over and I have 90 minutes before leaving for the next event. Obviously, I have done nothing more productive than read all your comments.

    For Children & World food day: A lesson for which I give credit to Church World Service. I have a little baggie of rice, about 1/2 cup maybe, which is the amount many people in the world have for their daily "bread" It fits into a tiny bowl from CWS. Talking to the children about the difference between some child getting only that little bowl of rice for all day and what they will have for a snack after church - which isn't even considered a meal! - gets their attention. I usually end by suggesting they could give food to a local food ministry or money to missions to help hungry children and a prayer for gratitude.

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  53. I've posted my sermon over here.
    Anybody want a brownie?

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  54. Thanks for the brownie, Songbird!

    Zooming in here after several days away for synod council. I really do not like coming back Saturday night and having to write a sermon. At least I was able to work on it verbally in conversation with the pastor driving the carpool van.

    I have an idea where it's going...now let's see how long it takes me to get there!

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  55. sermon draft #1 - bleah
    sermon draft #2 - ugh
    sermon draft #3- wah

    My sermon is just not behaving. I told hubby and he said (shaking his finger at my laptop), "bad sermon, bad, bad sermon." I hope that's not what people say tomorrow!

    I think it's going to be a late night. Spirit, inspire me to craft something usable out of all these false starts!

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  56. Oh, ramona. I think we've all been there!
    Is there one thing you really want to say that tracks through all three?

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  57. esperanza, if you give them all lemon squares, it won't matter what you say, it will be the best sermon ever.

    I'm checking back in as I finish the prayer for tomorrow, to be delivered outside before we sing our way back in. I'm hoping the sun warms up early and I'm taking my achy sneezy self to bed for some tv and early sleep. (I hope)

    Not sure I can drink another cup of tea today, but maybe some 'bedtime' from trader joes.

    Good sermon writing as you all finish up. Maybe I'll get it posted tomorrow.

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  58. Rev Nancy - ooh, prayer. I have to type out a copy of the prayers. The congregation doesn't print them in the bulletin and since they are from a seasonal source, they aren't in the missal.

    I've been so wrapped up in wrestling with the sermon that I almost forgot!

    Songbird - after false start #4, that very idea occurred to me. I'm not really finding anything that tracks all the way through. Maybe typing the prayers will help me focus.

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  59. What a grueling time I've had...did not think this sermon would ever find an ending...yeesh. But now I have one, and it's posted: Pray Often Use Words When Necessary

    Now I have fresh homemade oatmeal raisin cookies and tea, anyone?

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  60. Hmm, Nancy, that's a good idea. Sermon is ready, I think. Now to figure out what else I'm responsible for. Please, regular preachers, do not ask your supply preachers to do the announcements! By far the most difficult part of the service for a stranger to manage.

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  61. Preachers, it's time for me to put it to bed. I hope the late night crew gets some sleep eventually. See you in the morning.

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  62. one more thing....I just learned I'll have a phone interview Wed. night for a parish near by...It's exciting....I ask your prayers, please!

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  63. ramona, I feel your pain. my sermon, too, has been up to no good all day...I may have wrestled it into order, but I can't call it good...sigh...cookies anyone? or Tension Tamer tea?

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  64. The sermon diffculties and the upcoming late night writing wouldn't be so bad if I didn't have to leave at 7 to drive an hour and a half to the church. And if that wasn't bad enough, tomorrow is the Columbus Marathon and the route completely boxes me in - so I have park over a block and leave even earlier to walk to my car in the morning.

    I wish I was fresh enough to chuck everything and just start over. Ah well, back to sermon-wrangling.

    If anyone else is out there, I have some yummy apple turnovers I made for tonight's dinner - they make a great late night snack!

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  65. Nice hand-off SB, as I believe I am one of the late night crew. I just came in from a wedding and two softball games, and am glad to see folks perking along.

    Still no Vicar though... hope she's figured out Jeremiah or Luke at least!

    I;m going to do a quick read of the rough draft and then will pray a shower to get the softball dirt off will somehow help me pull it all together before a late night becomes a ridiculous night.

    It helps that I know no matter what, after the second service tomorrow I. am. on. vacation!

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  66. Exciting, mompriest! Prayers for the Spirit to lead in the interview process.

    ramona, I hear you. My sermon has yet to play nice. And it's just even more annoying that your commute tomorrow is going to be difficult.

    Peanut butter M&Ms to share!

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  67. I just got home from a gathering where a church member asked what I was preaching. Then I discovered that the preacher last week used the Luke passage for this week. Now I'm trying to decide whether to move forward with the scant nugget of thoughts on Luke, switch to Jeremiah, jump to last week's lesson, or pull out an "oldy but goody."

    I think I'll be around for awhile regardless of the choice.

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  68. Vicar,
    Oldy but goody.
    Seriously.
    That one wasn't even hard. :)
    kj

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  69. hey kathrynzj! I guess I was typing my post as yours was actually posting.

    Now we can really start the party!

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  70. Thanks for sharing that one, SB. That was before i went to a FofH. It will help a lot with my sermon and plus I am preaching in a much more liberal congregtaion and the differnt approach will be good.
    I have a crazy week ahead. Preaching for a friend tomorrow, then have presby work on Monday and a funeral on Tuesday and then interview with church Tuesday night.
    @ Joy, I have thougth of flipping it. Somewhere on Textweek, saw where the judge was the Church and the widow was God.
    @Mompriest. You got 'em! I know phone interviews are a little tough due to difficulty in "reading" folks.
    Elasti-girl. Love that site! I also used to print the coloring pic of the scripture to give the kids. It helped reinforce and all.
    Okay, anybody want a pumpkin spice donut?
    HAAAAAA. My word verf is: musse

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  71. Good to see the late night crew here with me. I have been a little scarce on the preacher party, but I may soon be here again weekly!

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  72. Prayers for all anticipating interviews--very exciting and nerve-wracking, all at the same time.

    Vicar, I'd vote for oldy but goody, especially at this point in the day.

    I think I'm done. Girls' bags are packed, robe in the car, sermon as ready as it's going to get.

    Blessings to the late-night crew!

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  73. Oldy - oldy - oldy! That's my chant for you, Vicar!

    I've been reading along today, but haven't posted since the morning since I have done anything at all related to sermonating. I think all 3 kiddos are down for the night; the baby is always questionable at this hour. I think I'll start with Juniper's trick of writing for a solid 20 or 30 minutes and then promising myself a break at the end. We'll see if that gets me a start.

    I did think of a good Children's Time for my sovereignty of God theme, and it even ties in to the miners. I'm not usually very good at tying in current events. My sort of working definition of SofG is that there is no where we can go, no where we can step, that is outside the boundaries of God's love and care. I'm going to hide myself sometime after I do the opening welcome of the service. I'll probably hide under the sound booth. When it comes time for Children's Time I'll make sure the lay reader invites the kids up front, but then from the sound booth, with my microphone on, I'll invite the kids to try to find me somewhere in the sanctuary. Then we'll talk about good hiding spots in Hide and Go Seek. Then I'll launch into the idea that there's no where we can hide from God. Even the miners who were deep down inside the earth weren't hidden too far from God. Etc etc etc. Love it. And it will take up enough time that I can get away with a shorter sermon! Even better!

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  74. Evidently, according to the search of my sermon files, the last time I preached on 20th Sunday after Pentecost year c (last Sunday's texts) was 2001!

    ta da! Oldy based on last week's Luke text being revised.

    Thank you Jesus!

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  75. WOOHOO Vicar!

    I forgot to say earlier that I am preaching on the Genesis reading (Jacob wrestling with God) which is the primary choice for us (Jeremiah being alternate). Having a God we can wrestle with (old school-style, not WWE style) is a treasure. 374 words and counting.

    Glad to see the night crew assembling.

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  76. You're welcome.

    Oh wait, you thanked Jesus... never mind.

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  77. ok, fair enough, credit to kzj, esperenza, and She Rev for even looking at the old files.

    Jesus gets credit for the previously preached Word of God on the "right" texts for me to actually give myself permission to use it

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  78. semfem - That is hands down probably my absolute favorite passage in all of the Bible. I've preached it once and felt a lot like esperanza was feeling about Jeremiah. I don't know if I did a passage that means so much to me any justice at all. Love it.

    OK - - I have yet to start my 30 minute internet time out. Here I go!

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  79. The revised sermon is printing!

    Deep thanks and gratitude to y'all who gather in this sacred space so regularly creating one more facet of the Body of Christ.

    Now to pull the prayers together.

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  80. Done- sort of. It's not great,and I'm going to try to polish a bit before I go to bed - after I take a break. 1063 words - a little short for me (average 1400).

    Why oh why did it seem like a good idea to invite two of the call committee I interviewed with last Thursday to come and see me preach this weekend? I really wish I liked this sermon better!

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  81. Hey - it has taken "superior persistence" to finish my sermon! I guess this edition of the preacher party is well named.

    Or perhaps I am just tired enough that I am getting a bit loopy.

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  82. With the sermon printing, I was ready to move toward bed. Then I realized I still have a kid that will need to be picked up in a little bit. At least I remembered before I got in bed!

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  83. That would have totally stunk, Vicar.

    Well, I finally typed for not quite 30 minutes, but I have 481 words down on a page. It's a long intro that I thought of last night, but of course I can't quite figure out what was supposed to come right after it. Hmmm...I think it's time to take a shower and find some jammies and see what that stirs up.

    I wonder what title I gave this sermon almost 2 weeks ago before I went on vacation.

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  84. so...i ended up writing a sermon while the kids and other youth leaders were in the corn maze.
    You would not believe how difficult it is to write something coherent while sitting at the community fire pit, in the dark with your laptop, while everyone around you roasts hot dogs and marshmallows and is laughing and screaming and running around and generally having good fall weekend fun.
    I tried. I'm not sure I succeeded...I'll have to read it through in a little while and try again. I don't think it works at all, but we'll see, I suppose. Maybe I can fix it up with my amazing delivery! HA!

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  85. Teri, at least you had the fire! I was sitting in between softball games with a breeze adding to the mid-50's weather and a 5 year old asking me if we could go into the dugout "now, now? what about now... how 'bout now Mommy, can we go in the dugout now?"

    Persistent Kindergartener and the unjust Mommy.

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  86. Ugh!
    Mayday, Mayday! I cut too much and I'm a page short.
    Thank GOD (and whomever else wants credit)I save the stuff I cut in a different document.

    Phew!

    I am SO ignoring that my alarm goes off in 5 hours.

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  87. 1008 words. So I am roughly 2/3 of the way done. I am typically around 1500 words, but may be shorter since i am not totally familar with worship in this church.
    At any rate, it is time to move towards a closer.
    Teri- did you brign us any marshmellows? I know you prefer vegan ones, but I do not have a pref.

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  88. I do the same thing, kathryn. I don't delete the "junk" document until after the sermon is preached either.

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  89. 632 words after watching the news and taking a very short nap.

    However, my eyes are pushing to tack on a longer nap.

    She Rev, I love this story too. It's just easier to love when I'm more awake.

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  90. Nope - it's not any better re-reading it after a break. But I have to get up in 6 hours and drive for 1 1/2 each way, so I need to sleep. Maybe the HS will inspire my dreams?

    Kathrynzj - Persistant Kindergartner and the unjust Mommy - HAHA! I wish you have written that earlier - I bet I could have worked with that!

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  91. 1241 words, but more important in my world seems to be 4 pages. And that's not counting the 10 endnotes - sheesh. For those of you who like to mock me for such 'decent and orderliness' this may be a new record.

    I'm going to break from this for a whopping 5 hours. This will preach and I don't want to fall asleep in the pumpkin patch with The Boy tomorrow afternoon so some sleep is in order.

    Blessing to you all, and remember the Holy Spirit has got your back!

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  92. Thanks Ramona. I never use him as an illustration, but there have been a few lately that would have been PERFECT.

    Good night all.

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  93. Okay, so I've got 1309 and I think I am done. I jsut don't feel there is anymore to say. I have covered it, though different from my orignal idea. It is jsut about 175-200 words shorter than my norm.
    One of my professors once said, nobody ever complains about a sermon being to short!
    So. I am heading off to bed.
    Anybody need anything?

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  94. kzj, I love your persistent k'ger comment! So true...those widows had nothing on a young child.

    I forgot that there was a piece of work I needed to produce for the family service, besides just having my outline, so I am back here now after a lovely evening with several of my colleagues and their spouses. I was reminded, alas, that we have a stewardship speak tomorrow, who will take several minutes in a service that is already tightly scheduled, and my sermon has no way to be shortened. Well, I guess the choir director who will be wanting to get into church is just going to have to wait!

    Red velvet cake on the counter, white bean dip and pita chips sitting out, and raspberry-roasted garlic chicken in the fridge, if any one needs a late night snack :-)

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  95. Betsy - all of that food would count as a feast at my house

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  96. I have retrieved the kid so it's finally pj time!

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  97. All of the prayers are printed as is the sermon

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  98. But I couldn't go to bed leaving the comments at less than

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  99. blah blah blah

    and

    blech blech blech

    I'm going to bed with not a whole lot written, but knowing where I want it to go. I don't like the track I'm on right now, so against my better judgement (starting to feel sick and I don't know how the baby will sleep), I'm going to bed to wake up in a few hours to write. This one will just have to be what it is. (I don't think it will necessarily be bad, though. It's just not coming right now.)

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  100. Blah...fell asleep in the chair and now hoping to finish this thing off.

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  101. Up.
    For the record, that was not enough sleep.

    Have great days today and remember, if you've got a dog - walk it proud!

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  102. Fell asleep again, now really hoping to finish this thing off.

    Kathrynzj, agreed.

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  103. Joining the up crowd to write. I swore I wouldn't be doing this anymore. Hoping one time doesn't bring back an old habit.

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  104. 1059 words and I'm trying to bring it on home.

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  105. This is when I resist going to check on the baby who is sleeping through the night for the first time in a couple of months just to see if she is alright, because that is GUARANTEED to wake her up.

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  106. 1134 words, and I'm done.

    Wonder if it's worth trying to sleep for 20 minutes.

    In case I don't return today, blessings on all pondering, preaching, and proclamation today!

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  107. Congrats, semfem. I'm almost there. Not my favorite at all, but at least it's almost done.

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  108. Well, no need to wonder if my Pearl is OK in bed. She joined the realm of the awake 20 or 30 minutes ago. Now she's gurgling happily (so far) on the floor next to me. Hold on little girl! Now I've got real incentive to finish up, and at 1278 I'm almost there!

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  109. She's not holding on. Type, Mama, type!

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  110. Wow, there was just as much party *after* I went to bed!
    It's a busy day for me, but I want to say blessings to all who are preaching, and thanks for this community of support.

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  111. Good morning friends. Had a wonderful day yesterday tooling around with my sweetie. I should complete my sermon earlier in the week always. NOT. It's a very rare thing to have a rough draft by Friday night.

    Blessings to all of us as we preach and proclaim today.

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  112. Done and all are fed. Most are dressed. Now I just need to figure out what to do with my hair when I have no hair dryer. Why couldn't I have remembered that when I was out and about yesterday?

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  113. Late prayers for Mompriest and the interview!!

    VERY early morning prayers from this sleepy preacher. Not bringing my A game this morning. Nu-uh. Not by a long shot. Yesterday's workshop just sucked all the life out of me, only in a totally non-romantic way a la Twilight.

    Tired. tired. tired. ANd a Board meeting right after church, then hospital visits.

    Really appreciate Abi's prayer this morning. Blessings preachers one and all!!

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  114. Just got back from preaching two services. After I went to bed, came up with an outline that really did what I wanted it to do. I remembered it in the morning and worked on it in the car on the way up. So I ended up with something decent to preach after all.

    Everyone, enjoy a well deserved rest - naps are biblical: Jesus slept in the boat after he taught the crowds!

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