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Saturday, October 23, 2010

11th Hour Preacher Party: Truly Humble Edition

Good morning, gals and pals! (Or, good whatever part of the day it is, when you first read this.)  When I was first assigned this weekend, I was going to be preaching, but now, it's out congregation's Big Stewardship Push Weekend, and our interim Sr. Pastor wanted to do the Big Stewardship Push.

So I come to you truly humble this morning, because I don't have to preach.

However, I am thinking about the texts, and particularly the gospel reading, today.  Pride and humility.  Righteousness and wretchedness.  Pharisees and tax collectors.  Of course there's the good fight of the apostle Paul, and the prophets Jeremiah and Joel to choose from too.  There's a great discussion of the scripture readings here.

And I am serving breakfast today, for all preachers and non-preachers.  I've got my famous blueberry pancakes (thanks, Betty Crocker!), turkey sausage, orange juice and fair trade coffee.  Would you like some?  I'm serving both preachers and non-preachers, the righteous and the wretched, pharisees and tax-collectors alike.

What are you preaching on today?  What are you eating?  What else are you doing?

Humbly yours.

by the way, the picture is from here


  1. What am I preaching on? Well, that's a good question and one you would think I could answer by now. But before I finally figure it out - I have gone back and forth between Joel and Luke all week - I have to teach 1500 years of church history. In depth and with details. So I'll be back later this afternoon and maybe I will have figured it out by then.

    The cupboard is pretty bare. I can offer a variety of teas, though. :-)

  2. welcome Margaret! glad to have you here, bare cupboard and all. let us know whether Joel or Luke wins ;).

  3. Larger governing body meeting for me all day today. On the plus side, I did get my sermon, on Joel, finished yesterday.

    Looking at how when our eqilibrium gets out of is the pouring out of the Spirit which restores.

    Thanks for breakfast Diane!

  4. Preaching on the gospel this week, after having two Sundays preaching free. Thanks to Gord on theTuesday Lectionary Leanings, I can't get the muppets O Lord its hard to be humble skit out of my head:) So I've decided just to use it! I'm also doing some teaching on how good we are at getting caught up in peripheries rather than on subsatnce which, I think, is a real danger with this gospel - focussing on the pharisee and tax collector rather than on God. That's wher I'm headed just now anyway.
    I've got some yummy carrot muffins (baked by my organist) to offer for breakfast.
    hope to be back later with a draft and then maybe to play a bit - but once I've done some work.
    thanks. Diane. We love you, preaching or not!

  5. Another busy Saturday so I wrote my sermon last night. I kind of took a different angle, reflecting on my own personal theology of confession and sin.

    What's fun about this sermon is that I use the show Glee as a sermon illustration.

    Read all about it here .

  6. Welcome, God_Guurrlll, Purple and Liz! thanks for the muffins, Liz. They sound yummy!

    I also like the way you are going. (If I WERE preaching, I might do something similar.)

    Purple, I'm intrigued by where you are heading with Joel. And G_G, I will be over a little later to read!

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  8. The last visiting kid from the overnight birthday party just left. One kid is gone for marching competition & the other has piano competition in less than an hour. Then, there's an all day church thing, too.

    You know what that means?

    I'll be back later

  9. I have pages of notes and about five directions I can go in for this sermon...but most of all I have a sore throat and feel achey and, that leaves me with a muddle of mixed up thoughts that I can't seem to sort out. sigh. Let's hope that after my husband goes to work and the house becomes quiet that I'll be able to focus. either way, providing I have a voice tomorrow, I'll have to say something. :-)

  10. Hello, all. I have a title, a concept and a busy day ahead of me. Since my daughter is away at a statewide UCC youth retreat, expect me back later!

  11. i've been away all week, and now home achy, tired, the last thing i want to do is write a sermon... thinking of recycling one... is that bad?

  12. Welcoome, Vicar, Mompriest and Songbird! Vicar and Songbird -- we expectantly await your return and your insights.

    Mompriest, I hope you feel better! It's not fun to work with a head cold! Yuck!

    I'm back from the breakfast Bible study and now working on a funeral bulletin (etc.)

    No heat, it's cold in the office, and all throughout the building, there are crafters! It's our annual craft sale.

    be back a little later.

  13. Hot Cup, I understand completely but have no sermon to recycle (I'd be thinking about it, though. . .)

    I have a great text (Jacob wrestling with God) and a great title (Shallow is not an Option). I've been looking forward to preaching this all week. The only thing standing in my way? Writing.

    But first, I need to restore the contents of my cupboard and start some laundry.

    I'll be around today for sure. Blessings all!

  14. Bare cupboards here and bare outline too. I'm back in the pulpit tomorrow after a three week break from preaching. Guest preacher for World Communion Sunday, Children's Sabbath, then vacation. Re-entry from vacation has been slow going. I left for vacation with a sermon outline for prayer (preaching membership vows upholding church with prayers, presence, gifts, service, and witness next few weeks.) I need to get this outline fleshed out in the next couple of hours and then head to the church for the Annual Spaghetti Supper and Auction. It's gonna be a late night there, so I need to get done here before I go.

    My real cupboards are bare, but since it's all virtual, I'll go to my virtual cupboard and offer some banana nut bread ;-)

  15. Welcome Hot Cup, Irreverent, and Mid-life! Glad you are here, even if tired, achy and thinking about recycling.

    Mid-Life, I'll take virtual banana nut bread, thank you.

    I have so many phone calls I should be making it's getting me down.

    but, soon it will be lunch break here, and there are some delicious sloppy joes in the kitchen.


  16. oh, by the way, Irreverent, I REALLY like your sermon title. can't wait to hear more!

  17. Woo Hoo! Outline fleshed out. At least enough for folks who will be dragging tomorrow after a big night tonight. How is praying in faith like riding a roller coaster? If you pray for your church with faith, you need to strap in, buckle up, and hold on for the ride - God's gonna do something!

  18. I'm back from church work day at which I did only the minimal amount of work. I've been fighting a cold off. Most of the time I'm successful but my energy is low and the headache, sore throat etc. comes and goes.
    I want to create a situation where we identify with the pharisee, then the tax collector, then something. The only thing I've come up with is to talk about a "new church movement" that I've read about and basically describe what a modern Pharisee would commit to doing. Not sure how this will come out, but I will try as soon as I fix something for lunch. I'd rather nap tho...

    BTW, It's pastor appreciation month (at least in the COB) and I'm loving it! Gifts, goodie bags, and STARBUCKS cards! awesome congregation!

  19. I'm preaching on Joel tomorrow and am very thankful for Donna Shaper's article on the text in Feasting on the Word. I'm going to be talking about retraining our vision as we look for God in the world around us.

  20. my sermon may be done, except for a paragraph I had to cut and now re-write....oh, the ramblings of my brain...sigh...taking a break for some chicken soup to soothe my sore throat....

  21. Welcome to Nancy and Jennifer! and woo-hoo re: all the progress on sermonizing!

    Mompriest, I hope you are feeling better aftrer some chicken soup. I'm looking forward to reading your sermon later.

    I just got done with the craft sale, though tempted to buy a lot, I just bought a few things.

    I have found remembrances of craft sales in rural SD. I like ours, but also feel vaguely uncomfortable about it.

    be back again in a little while.

  22. Hello everyone...virtual Vitamin C going out to all those who are sick...I was there a few weeks ago.

    I made the (debatable) choice to ditch the lectionary this week and instead pick up Zacchaeus from next week. This week's readings were not speaking to me, and since we always celebrate Reformation, we never get to hear about Zacchaeus! Of course this means much of my usual prep is not going to work this week...

    Have a few phone calls and a grocery store run to make sometime housecleaning...and this sermon. Hopefully it will not be a long night...I'd really like to watch Oklahoma-Missouri tonight.

  23. Ok. My sermon, Grace Connected is posted....please, stop by. I think it makes sense, but it could just be the sore throat and cold talking :-)

  24. Well I'm now nourished from lunch and working on the last cup of coffee from the morning's thermos and I've read Tuesday's leanings and hear where all of you are going, now to write something down.
    My son is a writer and has the motto hanging around, "Just get it down". I'm there!

    later y'all, dunno how much later yet. (Good stuff on tuesday BTW, thanks)

  25. welcome Semfem! I'm a little rushed right now but will be back soon.

  26. Anyone for a midafternoon snack?

  27. because we're blowing leaves, and we could use one...

  28. Rev Nancy, how great to be appreciated :-) I have a file in my desk of nice letters and cards from people, just to pull out from time to time when I need a boost!

    No preaching or officiating for me tomorrow, simply assisting, which means I get to play today. Off in a bit to the church & school fall fair; we are so grateful that it appears the rain has passed, though skies are still a little threatening after drizzle and rain much of the week.

    We are dedicating our newly redecorated library tomorrow, in thanksgiving for one of our much-beloved assisting priests and his wife (who died a year ago). So that future generations will know who they were, some others and I put together a Shutterfly book of photos and stories. I am so thrilled with it!

    Prayers for all of you, for clear minds and coherent words, and some spare time to catch your breath.

  29. hi Betsy! thanks for stopping in!

    blessings on your library blessing tomorrow!

    Nancy, I'm a little envious of your pastor appreciation stash. I don't think anyone here remembers it...

  30. Back and not much further along, I'm afraid. I don't really know why this one is such a doozy. I like what I have. I like what I want to say (I even mostly know what that is). I think I may have overworked this week because the problem is definitely energy and motivation.

    Kind of wish I was one of those take-a-whole-bunch-of-thoughts-into-the-pulpit-and-wing-it-trusting-in-the-Holy-Spirit kind of preachers. But that would just make tomorrow stressful too...

    ps - my word verification is "caride." Maybe a change of scenery is what I need.

    pps - I have Whoppers and candy corn if anyone else needs a sugary adrenaline rush.

  31. irreverent -- I hear ya! sometimes I wish I were one of those take-a-bunch-of-thoughts-into-the-pulpit-and-wing-it kind of preachers.

    hang in there!

    anyone want popcorn? I have some from the boy scouts.

    or, the sugary adrenaline rush kinds of things...

    I have some Edie's Lemon popsicles.

  32. It's time to make some supper (cos I said I would tonight). I have a decent draft. The intro is up here. I added to it for those who don't hear well and may not catch the exaggeration.
    I'll be back later to finish worship stuff and then I'll read sermons. (The best part of the week is reading your sermons.)

    And Diane, our denomination has been making a big deal about pastor appreciation and trying to advertise it to the churches. I'm sure that helps. C'mon over and we can go to Starbucks together.

  33. Just back from Diocesan Convention--most of yesterday and all of today, and I have NO IDEA what I'm preaching. I'm sure I'll be at the late night party this week. Now I need to go change clothes and get inspired, although what I'd really like is a nap!

  34. Rev Nancy Fitz -- I would love to take you up on your Starbucks offer! when?

    and RevDrMom -- there WILL be a late-night party. I might as well get started on the funeral sermon for Monday.

    And I have to make sure i'm ready for tomorrow in other ways..

  35. I managed to write most of a sermon this morning, but then I was busy, busy for hours, and then I fell asleep. So now it's dinner time, it's dark outside, and I am no further ahead than at 11 this morning.
    What to do to get me moving again? Suggestions?

  36. SB it's so hard to get going again - especially when you made a good start early on - sometimes that's worse than starting from scratch.
    I've been dipping in and out all day - but finally done.
    Gone in a few different directions that I hadn't really anticipated - not certain it all hangs together - but I'm done for tonight - tomorrow is another day. Posted here
    It's 11:30pm here, so I'm just going to check facebook and then call it a night. Happy partying y'all.

  37. Good night, liz! Hope you sleep well.
    I've still not arisen from the couch, but I'm going to push off as soon as I publish this comment.
    I'm thinking something to drink, something to eat, and then back to work.

  38. I've been gone all day at our church fall fair--complete with homemade apple and plum pies, karaoake, bolivian folk dancing, and huge flea market and book sale.
    whooped like a puppy, but Diane, I have to say, you always have the best breakfasts--any of those pancakes left? Our cupboards are bare, too.
    Oh, and yes, must write a sermon.
    my word verf is "dawdol"...I wonder if I have "dawdol-ed" too much this week????

  39. I love church fairs. Our's is in 2 weeks.
    SB Food helps, I'm re-energized but still thankful I don't have too much left.
    SIL went off with friends to look at stars from the MALL where there's a science fair set up. Oh the energy of youth. As much as I like stars, it would take so much to get me up now...

  40. Oooh. Thank you, Fred Craddock, for your insight in the Interpretation commentary on Luke. I think I may have just found my "so what?" in the story of Zacchaeus. He was part of a corrupt system...but Jesus declared he was still a son of Abraham.

    Neither are we cut off from salvation because of our complicitness with systemic sin.

    Now, let's see if I can make a quick grocery run, come back, start rooting for Mizzou, and write this sermon now that I know where I'm going with it.

  41. semfem,

    I preached Zaccheus a few weeks ago and loved that insight as well. Highlighting the fact that, in the Gospel of Luke, Jesus was most often on the side of the disenfranchized, we might logically expect his to take the crowds side against Zaccheus. The fact that he doesn't is such a marvelous grace, as you point out, for those of us trapped in systemic sins.

    FINALLY making progress with Jacob. Sometimes the grace comes through the wrestling. Sometimes the wrestling is grace itself.

  42. Hey, y'all. I am posting my draft and giving up on it, hoping it makes some sense: Getting to God's House.

  43. I am entering active sermon writing mode ... well, I'm at least actively thinking about a sermon now.

    semfem- I'm with you. GO MIZZOU!

  44. sorry to be gone so long!

    we went out to pick up a lamp, which turned out not to be all that we had hoped and dreamed.

    oh, well.

    then we went out for Japanese food, which my husband was craving. even though I lived in Japan, I can't really make Japanese food.

    I had tonkatsu and he had tempura.

    I'm up for awhile yet.

    so, let the party continue!

    I have stuff to do.

    Including knitting, and church stuff.

  45. Alright! I'm ready to join the party. Usually I read along all day, but today I was stuck in "boundary" training (read: sexual misconduct). I learned I made it on the sexual abuser continuum by meeting and marrying my husband in my first church. I also learned from the leader that my husband will someday, even if it's 50 years down the road on his deathbed (as the teacher recounted in a story) will someday admit that he resents me and our relationship because I took advantage of him and married him when I was a pastor at his church. The lady had some opinions to say the least.

    I'm well aware that what I did is not recommended, but I also know that big generalizations don't work. I'm pretty sure we'll be just fine.

    So, I'm getting ready for my second sermon in my Reformed theology series, this one on the role of Scripture as our guide as we lived life reformed and always being reformed. I unintentionally discovered a friend's sermon from last week that is PERFECT for where I am going. I will doing my best not to copy it word from word from my memory. My understanding is that the texts are actually last week's text, but I didn't know that, and it doesn't matter since I'm off lectionary anyway.

    I don't have a word written at all yet. Hopefully I'll get focused and start here soon, but this Oklahoma-Missouri game is pretty darn exciting.

  46. Hi She REv! glad to have you here! I was beginning to think we wouldn't even get to 50 comments!

    Your boundary training seems to be a little, um, rigid.

    I get the general gist of what they are trying to say, but...

    I'm going to stay here and keep everybody company for awhile.

  47. Despite dozing off twice on the couch with my computer, I sort of have a draft--not a very good draft,but a start. Now I need to go rework it...argh.

  48. Worried about not getting 50??? we haven't even reached double digit night hours yet let alone the single digit ones :)

  49. Exactly, Diane. I, too, get the gist and the point, but really. Our pastoral care professors in seminary were the exact same way which is probably why my husband and I were engaged within 6 weeks of me starting at the church. They put the fear of God in me that I wasn't allowed to do what I was doing, so we had better move this along from dating to marriage pretty quick if we knew it was heading that direction eventually. Relax folks! Some of the recommendations and ideas just let to a totally unrealistic view of ministry altogether. Sort of bugged me.

  50. GO MIZZOU! Vicar! She Rev! Are you with me?! (oh good, they got the audio fixed on ABC)

    Groceries have been gotten, sermon has been vaguely outlined, game is being let's see how the actual writing goes. Why do I overestimate the appeal of preaching on texts I've never preached on before and quite possibly never will again?

    Rev. Irrev., thanks for the confirmation that I'm heading in a good direction. Having just preached on Jacob wrestling with God last week, in my opinion you are doing just fine as well! :)

  51. Is there a self-help book out there: Preachers Who Love Texts Too Much? I seem to be in that boat this week. LOVE the Jacob wrestling with God story. There is so much in there. It's been jostling around in my brain all week and convicting me personally. But my manuscript is half-assed at best. Thanks be to God that God uses the foolish (read: half-assed) things of this world to shame the wise, right? RIGHT???

  52. Swinging by to say hello. I've got yummy apples that my brother & sister-in-law brought back from Wisconsin that I can offer as a late-night snack. Blessings to everyone as you prepare to preach (or prepare to not preach!) tomorrow.

  53. It's looking more and more like the game will be completed before the sermon is. Not that I really thought it would be any different.

  54. Basic outline done, and I think this one will write itself pretty well. Time to go watch this football game with more focus. It's getting most of mine now anyway.

  55. Sorry semfem, I'm pulling for the other guys.

    No 2 pts!

  56. Interception!

    At least it's an exciting game!

  57. Back after being gone for a while. I have to admit, every time I decide I really must write now I think, but first I'll pop over and see what's going on at the Preacher Party. I bring bagels from Panera Bread for everyone. Using Luke's parable tomorrow and, as always, find out that the parables are so much more challenging than they first appear.

    Gotta admit, it's hard to concentrate with the game going on in the other room, but someone has to be on the side of Oklahoma. Boomer Sooner.

  58. hi everyone! I guess we're full into the late-night party now.

    anyone want anything?

    I'm not preaching tomorrow, but I'm stressing a little. It's stewardship sunday, and sooo much rides on this in terms of our future, but I don't think a lot of people get that. what the pledges come in at will really make a difference regarding our call process.

    and so, the son of one of the former pastors (who is also a pastor) is getting married tomorrow at his church and a whole bunch of people are going to be at it.

    feels weird.

    SheRev, I still say we need to get together sometime.

    Now, I also have a funeral on Monday, so I'm going to get started on some of that...

  59. I've worked my way through. The final paragraph needs writing but I will do that tomorrow morning after I have given the Holy Spirit a chance to whisper sweet nothings into my sleeping ear all night long.

    Blessings to all.

  60. good night and sweet dreams, irreverent!

    Is anyone still out there?

    let me know.

  61. I'm still here! I have one page written and the game just finished...sorry, She Rev and Grey Sheep, but YAY!

    I have some fun size Twix to share if anyone needs a little late night noshing...

  62. WHOO HOO! I loved that game!

    back on task ... sermon, sermon, sermon

  63. vicar and sherev, I'm going to call it a night.

    in the middle of your sermons, could you shoot up a praer for my church tomorrow?


  64. Diane - you have my prayers for your church

    sermon, sermon, sermon

  65. 715 words. Just made the turn into the good news. Now I just need to bring it on home!

    ...before I fall asleep in my recliner.

  66. Done, printed and posted to blog. Hallelujah. Now to sleep.

  67. Prayers for you all, Diane, and YES we will get together. Not just words. We will!

    So, I'm taking a huge risk and with pretty much nothing on the page, I'm heading to bed. I fell asleep during the 4th quarter (which I went downstairs to the couch to watch with my husband). Then I fell asleep in the rocking chair with Pearl. It's midnight and I don't have hardly anything on the page, but I'm going to hit the hay and get up at 4:30 to turn the ideas in my head into words on a page. At this point in my night I will just waste time trying to keep myself awake anyway.

    Not worried. I'm 99% sure this one will come fairly easily.


  68. Am I the last one here? If so, I'll turn out the lights....I finally finished and just emailed my text to myself so that I can print it at church in the morning. And now MUST GO TO BED. I don't like being up this late on Saturday night.

    Goodnight all, and happy preaching!

  69. Keep the lights on! Vicar and I are still here!

    I just wasted thirty minutes on mahjong, however, so that is not a good sign.

    Back to it. The home stretch always seems to be the hardest.

  70. semfem you are right, I'm still here too!

    the verification word: bedoxe


  71. I suppose the good news is that I haven't been running up the comment count here because I actually had something to write for the sermon.

    The bad news, that pales in comparison to anything that is truly bad, is I won't get much sleep before I must preach this freshly written sermon.

  72. Now that everything is printed, I'm finally off to bed.

    Blessings on your Sunday!

  73. Welcome back, She Rev. I fell asleep in the recliner (ugh) yet again, but when I woke up, I had the final line to the sermon! Which I had been struggling with.

    Now just to look this over and print it, and maybe get a few more minutes of sleep...

  74. 1151 words, all printed and ready to go. Whew! Now off for a few minutes more sleep.

    She Rev, you can do it! Vicar, glad you finished!

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

  75. I'm getting there. About halfway through with the next stuff coming not that hard, I don't think. Still in a race with the sleeping baby, though. She was last up 3 hours ago, so it feels like the clock is ticking faster and faster.

  76. hi all. i'm up now to get ready for church.

    happy sermonizing. may the Holy Spirit touch yoiur words and the hearts of all who hear you.


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