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Saturday, October 02, 2010

11th Hour Preachers Party: The Gift of Faith Stew?

(fall lightening storm, from the files of mompriest)

It's autumn, my favorite time of year. Fierce evening storms roll through as temperatures plummet. The morning dawns bright and crisp with a distinct chill in the air and frost on the ground. Leaves are turning yellow, orange, and red. And the crock-pot is filled with the makings of an evening stew, parsnips and turnips, potatoes, celery, and onion, bay leaves, peppercorn, and chunks of beef. A fragrant aroma fills the house. Likewise, our readings this week offer us a veritable mix of ingredients. The cries of the city in Lamentations, the horror of Psalms, Habakkuk (worth preaching on just to say Habakkuk), the faith of grandmother's in Timothy, and the ever famous mustard seed: a faith stew if here ever was one. A richer conversation on these readings can be found here.

Still, while there are many directions one might go when pondering a sermon on these texts, it may be helpful to remember this poem from Mary Oliver:

Uses of Sorrow

(In my sleep I dreamed this poem)

Someone I loved once gave me
a box full of darkness.

It took me years to understand
that this, too, was a gift.

(Mary Oliver)

What is the gift you find in these readings? What sign of hope, grace, faith are stirring in your thoughts?

Pull up a chair and grab a mug. Would you like tea or coffee? There's plenty to share here. We'll be around all day and long into the night to keep you company, read your sermon and offer feedback, comments, or ideas, or help you figure out what to say to the kids. It's the preacher's party and we're gonna mix it up!


  1. I've got good organic coffee to share this morning...and off to a leadership retreat for most of the day...but will be back. I am preaching on Mustard Seed, but not sure how I will tackle it...but I am hoping for lots of good ideas from you all when I get back.

  2. chamomile tea here. I have posted my 2 reflections for tomorrow. starting with Psalm 137, speaking about lament, then a prayer of lament, before we sing By gracious powers so wonderfully sheltered [Bonhoeffer]. then moving the the New Testament texts and communion.
    middle of school holidays, a long weekend, and Daylight savings starts overnight [and we lose and hour's sleep]

    I wonder how many people will actually make it in the morning. It has been raining today and forecast for tomorrow, but I know of a number of people who have gone away for the weekend.

    try and get this link thing right
    lament and faith

    the verfication word is retivers - maybe a new kind of river?

  3. Hi all,

    Officiating a memorial service today. Will be back this afternoon to sermonate. Will be concentrating on World communion Sunday so going off lectionary. I want to convey what a wonderous thing it is that all over the world Christian Churches are gathering around the Lord's table. The liturgy that I am using has the image of the Sun rising around the globe and light shining on communion tables as it makes it's way around the earth.

  4. I'm here trying to finish things up before I head off to a morning workshop on worship that I am somewhat geekily excited about. I chose the Luke text and Jesus' statement about not inviting the servant to the table - when, in fact, that is just what Jesus does for us, invite us, no matter how unworthy we seem or how little faith we may have, to come to the table. World Communion weekend and tonight for my Saturday night service I will be videotaped as a part of my ordination process, so prayers appreciated!
    I have some blueberries we picked over the summer and froze at the peak of ripeness - thawed and mixed with oatmeal and vanilla yogurt it makes a great breakfast and I am happy to share! Blessings on all as you prepare.

  5. I worry that you'll think I'm the boy who cried wolf if I describe my life as stressful one more time, but this week I had to send a letter to my congregation saying my husband and I are getting divorced, and that the reasons came as a surprise to me. Which is not the greatest place to be ever, and especially not one month into a new call. So far the response has been very sympathetic, and I am grateful for it. Today's goal: write 1200 words for a Communion meditation I can preach without crying. My texts are Psalm 137 and 2 Timothy. I am thinking of my grandmother and godmother who were my Lois and Eunice, and what it's been like as a native Virginian to claim the promises of Christ they shared with me while living in faraway Maine.

  6. Songbird, you are in my prayers. I know the shock you are living in. The lessons this week just might help rather than hinder because there is so much faith behind Lamentations and Ps.137. Both writers are in the place of devastation and shock, perceive God as the one who put them there but continue to speak to the Lord out of their faith even when the words are harsh.
    I don't know exactly where I am going but this is the general direction, stemming from the cry "increase our faith" in the gospel. It's not up to Jesus to do that. We choose to have faith or not to have faith but how much better we live in faith especially when we are in the place of Lam and Ps. 137.
    I haven't gotten to Timothy yet but that's my next round of reading.
    This is my only Saturday off this month so I am reluctantly working. Of course, if I had budgeted my time a little better during the week.... ;-)

  7. I just popped in to see what was going on...and saw SB's comment.

    Prayers upon prayers SB.

  8. Good Morning, Karla - blessings on your day, we'll be here when you return.

    pearl downunder - I'll stop by in a bit an read your sermon, thanks for posting it...and hope the turn out is still ok!

    God_Gurrl, blessings on your day too, love that image you offer

    Mumpastor - what a delicious breakfast - fill us in on the workshop when you return

    MARTHA - you remain deep in my heart and prayers. If you weep a bit tomorrow I am sure everyone will understnd...but know also that our prayers will be with you, may they sustain you like a mantle, a shawl wrapping you in love.

    Margaret - yes, good perspective.

    Welcome, Purple.

    me? I have a rough draft that is bumpy and needs some serious editing and smoothing over. But I'm weaving my way through Lamentations, Timothy, and maybe a hat tip to mustard seed/faith.

  9. Prayers and hugs and love being sent to you, dear Songbird. Now I know what you meant last week about being a stolen truck away from a country song...I am so sorry..Sam and now this and much more I'm sure. Please know that you are loved and being prayed for and carried in my heart...
    (this is "grace eagle"...I would not post as anon but I don't blog and never have gotten the hang of this stuff)

  10. Prayers for you Songbird!

    Until this morning, I felt I had plenty of information but no inspiration for my world communion Sunday text -- John 17:20-26. I woke up this morning with an outline right there in my head. Thank the God who never sleeps! I'm going to quick outline it, drink some coffee and head out for a pilates class at my new gym. I'll be back to flesh it out and check in with y'alls!

  11. Good Morning, Grace-Eagle/Anon, and welcome. What kind words you offer to SB, thank you.

    And Reverent Irreverant - awesome!

  12. Senior minister is preaching this Sunday, but I am to lead our Sunday PM Bible study - which is always based on the same text. I'm a little worried I'm going in a different direction than the senior, but should be fine.

    More worried I just won't be focused enough - I totaled my car yesterday morning on the way to pick up my father from the airport. Amazing that a grown woman can still be so happy to see her parent in a time like that. Physically I'm fine - but worried about what's next - have to focus on preparing the Bible study on Luke & 2 Tim - somehow tying in WCS and a stewardship emphasis.

    I have cinnamon rolls my father has cooked and some fresh fruit to offer. Blessings to you all!

  13. PeaceBabe - oh, prayers for you. Totalling one's car is always nerve wracking and unsettling....and trying to figure out what's next, insurance, and getting a new's stressful. I went that two years ago when my daughter totalled her car.

    Isn't it ok if you go in a different direction from the Sr. Pastor? aren't there always multiple ways of seeing our texts? and might this be ok for the congregation to understand. Not what you present is more "right" than sr. pastor, but just that there are a variety of ways of engaging the texs? well, prayers for you....

  14. {{{{{{Martha}}}}}}

    PeaceBabe, I would suggest it is a good thing to go a different direction than the sermon does. It helps to point out that there is more than one message from any passage -- OTOH, if the folks are so stirred up from the sermon that they need to respond to it in some way it could go a whole other direction altogehter.

    Preaching on the meaning of communion tomorrow. I should be able to pack that into 10-15 minutes right?

  15. Hey Gord - welcome! Sure, you can do it!

  16. oh songbird... prayers and more.

    mompriest... be right there for some stew, say 5ish?

    sermon... please finish thyself.

  17. HC - I'll set a place for you! and, uhm, wouldn't that be awesome if sermons could finish themselves....? then again maybe that is one reason I am prone to napping while writing sermons - or taking walks, both help.

  18. Mompriest and Gord - you are correct. It's just a balance to keep with a very Type A senior minister - don't want to step on his toes :D

    I really like the idea of MumPastor and tying in the Luke text with WCS.

    Thank you for the prayers - nothing terribly traumatic, but ruffles the feathers for sure!

  19. I'm at an all day Walk to Emmaus thing so I'll be here much later.

    SB-you are in my prayers

  20. SB - Prayers and love.

    Appropriately enough I've been working on Lamentations with a touch of 2nd Timothy this week. I have the outline and hope to get as much down as I can before The Boy returns home soon.

    After the triple tropical depression Thursday into Friday the dogs and the people are ready to go out and romp around so the majority of my writing will happen later.

    As for Lamentations, I am trying to be as careful as possible not to shove us straight into the joy peace. The best thing Job's friends did was keep silent for 7 days - sometimes silence to acknowledge the suffering is more helpful that talk of hope.

    Also, what does it mean to have hope in the midst of not a WORD from God.

    All of that in a meditation.. yeah, right.

    Also wondering if I have the guts to sing a verse of 'It's Alright to Cry' from Free to be You and Me'.

    Shifting towards lunch here, there is a large spread with Kaiser rolls and sandwich fixin's. And let's crack open the Diet Coke!

  21. (((((Songbird)))) I'm so very sorry. I'm glad, however, to know that during this painful time you are in good pastoral Southern hands. Prayers in abundance for you and your whole family.

  22. Hmmm, quite the slip. I meant 'piece', not 'peace' - but will surely take the latter.

  23. HEY katahrynjz, vicar, and sue! Welcome!

    Oh, I hope, kathrynjz that you can sing that...! and, love the meditation idea, but then I would since it speaks to the reality I've been living in.... :-)

  24. Holy moly.

    Big hugs, abundant prayers, and warm wishes for Songbird and Peace Babe.

    My sermon's done. BWAH?!? Which is good because we had Blessing of the Animals this morning (which rocked) and I am going to a wedding shortly.

    After I take a superfast nap.

  25. Hey, are finished? late night will

  26. Oh, Martha, I am so very sorry.

    Have missed everyone as most of my preaching happens on Thursday at lunchtime, hence short and informal. I am taking the day, and actually a revolutionary week off as it has been very intense lately...Speaking to the local spiritual directors' network yesterday gave me the push to finish up the two books of Christian feminist prayer I have been working on for years. Sophia's Rosary adapts that traditional devotion with new prayers, two hymns (one sung at BE 2), and many biblical mysteries of God the Mother, Sophia, and great women of the Bible. Sophia's Book of Hours adapts the Office/Liturgy of the Hours (psalm based prayer at morning, midday, evening, etc.) Both feature feminine and neutral God-language, and the option to personalize with masculine God-language as well. I am so grateful to everyone in this community who supported and prayed for me in this long process, read drafts, and test-prayed the manuscripts!

    If you'd like to check them out I have a new book blog < href="">here< /a>.

    Copious inspiration to preachers and blessings on everyone's day!

  27. This comment has been removed by the author.

  28. Book blog didn't link--trying again here.

  29. Songbird, so sorry to hear you are living in such pain. Let your congregation love you thru it. sometimes they rise to the occasion and its a good thing.
    PeaceBabe, whew, glad you survived even if your car didn't.

    I returned from FLA on the autotrain this morning and SO don't want to work. I wrote a draft last night on the train so I'm turning it into whatever it will be.

    So much 'hits' when you come back that I don't usually do it for a sunday but train schedules and timeshares and WCC meant this had to be. Vacation is always worth it. But it is SO much cooler here that it is quite the shock. So I have hot green spice tea for anyone who is feeling the chill of the beautiful cool weather.

  30. ((((songbird)))) prayers and love coming your way.

  31. Welcome, Laura. Blessings on your new endeavors.

    RevNancy, glad you made it home safely. I hope you get inspired for your sermon tomorrow...but it is hard to get back in the swing of things....

  32. I'm adding my prayers to those of the cloud of witnesses, Songbird. May God hold you steady while everything else is shaky.

    You, too, Peace Babe. I'm glad your dad was there when you needed him.

    I have exactly 2 hours of the house to myself starting right now, so I'm going to try to knock out my sermon, like it or not. I had a bizarre mini-retreat with the elders this morning, and it left me in a funk. I'm not sure why exactly, but it was kind of frustrating, kind of productive, kind of left me feeling inadequate (again) at some of the leadership/visioning/long-range planning aspects of my job. Frustrating.

    I'm working with Habakkuk and World Communion and hope to have SOMETHING posted here shortly. We'll see.

  33. SheRev, sorry about the conflicting nature of that mini-retreat...sigh...hoping the words flow out out of you and the sermon writes itself - which seems to be a theme here today....self-writing sermons.

  34. I've got an early draft done. Using the metaphor or Thanksgiving Dinner (a riff on Eucharist). A family doesn't agree on much but they still gather at the table together. And in making room for one another, our love and hospitality grow in order "that the World may know" (John 17:20-26)

    I'm going to listen to some football while I clean the house! I'll be back later for edits.

    Grace and peace to you as you write! Keep on keeping on! Blessings!

  35. Brought back virtual Smashburgers and fries with rosemary (don't recommend the sweet potato kind, though) from lunch with kids. Enjoy!

  36. I have the rest of a delicious breakfast casserole I made for brunch with my aunt and uncle; good for a snack or meal!

    SB, prayers for you, that at this tumultuous time the Spirit will hold you close. I am glad your congregation is supportive.

    St. Francis for me at our early service tomorrow (other two are filled with animal blessings). I've decided to contrast the sweet statues of him surrounded by birds and animals with his bold and brave ministry. May be lacking in some depth, but it will be a sermon, and some days that's gotta be good enough.

  37. Breads from around the world have been dutifully purchased and delivered to the church along with cream cheese, butter and jam. Our table feast will continue on to our coffee time feast. Should be interesting....

    Sermon done. I've made use of the last two lines of the ad shown over here.

    I'm closing with this:
    “Look back at everything we’ve been given, and then turn, when you’re ready to begin. United Church of Canada, it’s our turn to lead.”

  38. @Rev. Dr. Laura I love smash burgers. Pass them over here.

  39. So, I'm not preaching tomorrow but I do have to come up with a Bible study on the theme "finding our way." This is the youth group theme for the year and we have a number of groups in the church working it as well...and now I need the first in a series of stories that illustrate the theme and help us explore how we find our way. (The theme verse is Psalm 25:4-5, so that's not so helpful this time as I need something with characters and plot....)

    any ideas?

    I have lentil soup in the'll be ready around central-time dinner time. :-) Someone keep an eye on that while I get some bread, and we'll have a feast later!

  40. Teri - - Saul/Paul being led (even while blind) to find the way of Jesus - - Good blindfold obstacle course tie-in for youth group

    Israelites being led by cloud and fire in wilderness

    Philip meeting the Ethiopian eunuch along the way from Jerusalem to Gaza?

    Ruth and Naomi maybe? Finding their way out of tragedy and a foreign place by making a commitment to God and one another...

    Why is it always more fun to help someone else than to work on the task in front of me?

    Not totally. I've got about 863 words, so I'm not staring at a blank page. It jsut seems I'm chasing two sermons, the one I plan to write and still need to, and one that keeps poking its head up and getting in the way. It's not a bad one, just one for another day.

  41. Oh yeah, on of my favorite ones: Road to Emmaus, that's a good "way" story.

  42. Betsy, Sue and Teri welcome to the party! More good food offerings - I'm heading to make some tea and have a few pieces of dark chocolate w/almonds...

  43. Ack! The house will be repopulated in about 15 minutes. I'm not done, but I have done a LOT to be close to done. Just need to find that right transition piece that takes us from "Yeah, life does suck around us, but with God there's hope."

    (So my sermon isn't quite as trite as that sounded.)

  44. My draft is up here. It's not much but will do for coming back from vacation on a full service Sunday with communion. I'm trusting the HS to inspire it before I print a final version.

    Now off to get a few things for illustrations and children's time. I need tic tacs for the "small" things that carry a big punch...

  45. (((((SB))))))
    PeaceBabe, glad you are not hurt!
    GG-I want your liturgy about the sun!!!

    I am back from our Leadership Retreat, which was filled with hard work and very good energy.

    The bummer is that I made this beautiful Tuscan Kale Soup with white beans, porcini mushrooms, mini penne, onions, garlic, a little sherry, nutmeg, and vegetarian sausage...and while driving through boston some joker cut me off, and beatiful soup, resting safely on the floor, tipped over all over the floor as I slammed on brakes. O.k., enough.

    Am I the only one preaching on the mustard seed tomorrow? was this a mistake?

    I'll be back in a little bit...but preaching vibes to you all!

  46. Need some thesaurus type help. Here's the quote from Working Preacher that I'm trying to sort of rework:
    "An aside: As the scholar Jerome Creach has convincingly argued (see his book The Destiny of the Righteous in the Psalms), the term "righteous" is not first-and-foremost a moral term. Rather, it is first of all a relational term. The righteous are those who are dependent on God (and thus, because they know they are dependent, they trust in God's laws and follow them). The wicked, on the other hand, feel free to violate God's laws and their neighbor's needs, because they do not rely on God."

    So in my sermon I'm trying to saying something to the effect of "Righteous is not the opposite of sinful or bad; righteous is the opposite of _________"

    Fill in the blank!
    I've got self-reliant on the brain, but it feels like there's something else out there that fits better. Any thoughts?

  47. songbird - I'm crying for you here. And I'll be praying for you tomorrow and in the days to come.

    Tomorrow, trying to tie in harvest thanksgiving and world communion - talking about being thankful for and sharing the basics - bread and wine.
    Just about there.

  48. SheRev: righteousness is the opposite of desolation and despair, for without God that is what fills our beings. Even with God we can despair, but with God there is also a profound sense of grace, which fills us more, and eases the despair, with a stronger sense of peace.

    that's what I would say....and if it works for you, you can use it.

  49. Mompriest! You win! That's the PERFECT answer for where I'm going - - to the hope we have in God, particularly the hope for a peaceful and inclusive world that is envisioned in our practice of the Lord's Supper, particularly (again, this isn't how it will be written finally) on World Communion Sunday. God doesn't promise to fix it all right away, but God gives the vision of what peace looks like which invites us to be a part of that peace now.

    Or something to that effect - - I think about about 45 minutes from a finished sermon. I just don't know that that 45 minutes is available to me right now.

  50. SheRev - awesome, glad to your sermon when it's done. I have a few others to read, will be 'round shortly....

  51. Also making beef stew here on the first cool weekend in forever.Smells good.

    Sermons for tomorrow will be the 4th and 5th of the week, after the Wednesday noon service, a wedding yesterday and a challenging memorial service this morning. Tomorrow will be regular service at 8:15 and then Blessing of the Pets at 10:30. So the 8;15 will probably be something of the faith we learn at our mothers' and grandmothers' knee, since that service is mostly older folks who love such sermons, and the 10:30 may have something about the trust of animals being greater at times than our trust in a benevolent God. As you an tell, I'm feeling a bit dry right now.

    SB, you and the kids are in my thoughts and prayers - I'm sending you virtual hugs and an invisibility shield when you feel you need your privacy. The challenge of our vocation is that even more than Lindsay Lohan, we live our private lives in public. Sometimes that's a grace, sometimes that's a challenge. Know you are dearly loved by your many friends who hold you in the light.

    now would someone please send the Holy Spirit here to flesh out these sermons of mine?

  52. Hey mibi52, welcome....and I'm requesting a hearty dose of the Holy Spirit to come straight over to your place.

  53. World communion day sermon is finished, now it's off to the store to get breads from around the world.

    Please stop by < href=""> here < /a>and let me know what you think.

  54. (((((((Martha)))))) Holding you in my prayers.

    It feels odd, but I'm not preaching this week or next; I have a seminarian intern this year and he is preaching tomorrow. Next week my mentor is preaching to kick off our stewardship campaign--which has been kicking my butt for the last few weeks trying to get everything ready.

    It sounds like y'all have sermons under control...hope they all go well.

    Vegetarian chili simmering here if anyone's hungry.

  55. Sigh... The Boy is totally wound. Hoping the last two innings of Yankees vs. Red Sox helps. I least I know where I'm headed sermon-wise, just need the time to get it there.

  56. ummm...Go Sox!!
    Kathrynzj--there is the make up game from last night that begins at 9:00 or whenever this one is over...don't know if you get it where you are, but maybe the radio if the boy is still wound for sound.....

    1/2 way through a crazy thing that I hope turns into a sermon.....

  57. The Boy is asleep.
    Time. for. sermon.

  58. Hi,

    Home from Sunday morning. The Psalm reader couldn't believe I wanted the whole psalm read, including dashing children against the rocks.
    it all went well. between wet weather, long weekend, school holidays and the start of daylight saving, still 40 at worship - not too bad. 2 daughters of a regular attender were there with their babies. I officiated at both the weddings, so it was lovely to see them again, and their babies.

    Now 4 weeks annual leave, though I can see me working on Tuesday to tidy up the loose ends.

    God be with you all, especially Songbird.

  59. done. sermon went ok, hubby taped it for me and I will NOT watch it but just send it on to the powers that be.
    Worship workshop was invigorating and exciting about developing a vision for worship, a target congregation (the folks outside our door) and figuring out what it is they need in their time with God. So many things I would love to do - worship in the round, Taize, etc...wonder where we can go?
    Holding SB in prayer. Good night

  60. This morning one of those special moments happened. 2 sisters were drawing on paper plates - an activity to do with encouragement - and each drew a picture for me, and one also drew a picture for my husband. the younger one is 5, and she drew her and me [I am the one with the cross, which covers most of the dress. she also has me with bright pink hair] After worship she asked who would teach her while I am away. I tell a children's story about once every 4-6 weeks on the roster, and teach Sunday School less than once a year, yet this five year old wonders who will teach her.
    I must remember this on those days I am tearing my not-pink hair out in frustration!

  61. Just finished a late supper of organic black beans with organic wild rice, simmered with tomato, onion, and bay leaf. I added a little sour cream to my bowl and topped it off with a piece of homemade cornbread. YUM.

    now, back to check on my sermon and see if it's ready to print. Hoping that it's done some work on itself while I've been gone :-)

  62. I'm back from a Target run. I needed to find magnets for my sermon (talking about how it is our natural nature to repel one another but "in Christ" we are flipped around in order to attract and hold on to one another.) Anywho. . .Target doesn't carry heavy duty magnets. I had to get them at Lowes but that didn't stop me from buying lots of other things that they DO keep in stock at Target. ;-)

    Just finishing up m edits for tonight and hopefully to bed early. Blessings to all!

  63. It's 9:30pm, been on the go since 7:30am until about an hour ago... including newsletter article/pics, laundry, being at our booth at the local Harvest Festival and an Open House & Dinner at the local Islamic Center. starting to lose some steam, but still need to finish figuring out tomorrow's sermon. At least clothes for tomorrow already ironed and all set out, which I'm not always good at doing the night before. :)

    Still feeling drawn toward faith (particularly 2Timothy re: first lived in family/elders, and the concept of "rekindling").

  64. Thank you so much for your support and love and prayers. I have a sermon and hope it will preach. Here it is, in case you want to read it: Rekindling the Gift.

  65. I'm here, at least for now. I'm trying to decide if I should run to get different kinds of bread since I forgot to stop on the way home.

    In addition to stuff for this week, I need to prepare for a special service that I scheduled for 2 weeks from now but, due to the participants, needs to be next week instead. It won't be hard. It's just one more thing to do.

    What I really want is to go to sleep.

  66. looks like lots going on at the preacher party tonight. prayers for all...and songbird and peacebabe, especially remembering you. thinking of going to bed. sometimes nothing inspires like a good sleep. i swear the holy spirit loves to inspire me in the almost 12th hour. nothing's coming over here, thinking a little while longer, then headed to bed only to get up at 5 to finish.

  67. Everything is printed and I'm off to bed. Blessings to you all especially the night owls.

    May the words of our mouths and the meditations of our hearts be acceptable in your sight. O God our rock and redeemer.

  68. My meditation is too long... I so did not see that coming.

    It is also too personal. Guess what part is getting cut first?

  69. I guess it's a good thing the football game I care about is going SO POORLY (at least if you're supporting my team). I'll finish this sermon up in no time at all and even went ahead and put some dough ingredients in the bread machine. There will be warm cranberry orange bagels for the RevNightOwls!

  70. well friends, it's been a party...I have to be up at o-dark-thirty in order to get ready and drive to my supply gig, so I have to try and go to sleep...will read in bed for awhile.

    Prayers for the nightowls...I'd love one of those bagels in the early am!

    last one up, get the lights?

  71. I am at the 'it will preach' and 'no one will hate me for going too long' stage of the evening and so I am going to turn out the lights for a few precious hours.

    Thank you all for the conversation and 'food'.

    Peace, friends.

  72. This comment has been removed by the author.

  73. Hi. I'm late late late. been gone all day at a Faith and Writing conference. Heard Billy Collins read tonight.

    I'm not preaching (again) tomorrow, but will be here for a little while, as I have to figure out what few words to say for an animal blessing service tomorrow afternoon.

  74. just want to add my heartfelt prayers


  75. Oh I'm at that "just need a conclusion" stage where I find myself more drawn to catching up on my blog reading than finishing my sermon. This time I even know what my conclusion will be, but I just don't feel like writing it.

    5 minutes to read around a few places then I'm finishing by 10:35 p.m. Go!

  76. I haven't gotten much farther... been procrastinating/unwinding. I did post my newsletter article on A Season To Be Present

    Found a helpful thought by Tom Wright in Luke for Everyone - it's not great faith that you need, but faith in a Great God... what matters is the God your faith is looking out on.

  77. I decided to go after breads for Children's Time. We'll have Naan, Rye, and Cornbread to talk about different breads from different parts of the world and World Communion. Even if they don't hear a word, they get to eat!

    If I give the adults the leftovers maybe I won't need a sermon ... right?

  78. Vicar... well now I'm hungry ;)

  79. bythesea - I've got plenty! Help yourself. And I have chocolate Greek yogurt, too.

  80. I guess I'm going to bed anyway...

  81. SheRev, thanks for the ideas! I will likely use all of them as the year goes on. LOL. For tomorrow I settled on Zacchaeus (not a literal "way" but a metaphorical one...) because it has exactly 3 characters (well, if you count "the crowd" as one character) and so will be easy to do even if there aren't very many attendees. I'm copying/pasting all of yours into a document so I can use them later! Thanks for the help!

    We are also playing a lifesize board game tomorrow night...tonight we made the squares that make up the board game. Contact paper and construction paper...oh yeah. it only took 3 hours and two cans of coke (each) to get us through. Hope the game is more fun than the construction of the board!

    Now I'm off to contemplate sleep (but probably not actually sleep, what with the two cans of coke...).

    Happy World Communion, all!

  82. Done! 1775 with 272 at the front end that I'll only use if things are running really early. Time to go boil the bagels!

  83. I'm thinking that bread for Children's Time will make for a longer than normal time. And World Communion followed by all church dinner means "short is good." so I'm declaring the sermon done.

    but I still have to get things ready for next week ::sigh:: when they tell you that you're in charge of worship they don't tell you about all the ways you aren't really

  84. Hi Vicar! It's you and me yet again. Sermon's been done for a little while. I'll hit print after I read one last time over my oatmeal in the morning. I've been making bagels to take with me to my Synod meeting that starts tomorrow night. I'm going to quickly watch the DVD I'm teaching from tomorrow in our Adult Ed opener, but then I'm out.

  85. I managed to pull together the stuff for next week more quickly than I thought I would.

    Now for the prayers for tomorrow. Sounds like we'll be "leaving" almost together SheRev

  86. I'm still here... because of course I just *had* to post August's Animal Blessing photos to Facebook since many are having blessings this weekend and I finally got them uploaded so some could go in the newsletter.

    Since it was such a long day I might be better off trying to sleep and getting up early to finish. I'll stick it out a bit longer. glad I had some company here. :)

  87. bythesea - Party on!

    Always good to have another RevNightOwl :)

  88. Video has been watched. Bagels are cooling (really, grab one if you want one!). I'm heading to bed. Why is it so late even though I finished my sermon ages ago?

  89. I'm finished printing everything. So I'm off to bed.

    Blessings on your Sunday!

  90. I really hate to leave the comments so close to 100 yet not quite there ... but I'm going to

  91. Finally done! It is sort of dull, but it's something. Remembering the prayer of St. Francis gave me an easy conclusion.

    Peace be with you all!

  92. Good Morning! A couple of you were being very silly last night....

    :-) yay, preacher's party!

    Well, although it's morning there is no sign of the sun here at o'dark thirty.

    Still I hope this days go well for all of you. And again, many prayers for songbird, this day, and in the days ahead.

  93. Nice kathryn!

    The whole house smells like cranberry orange bagels. I hope their as good as they smell! You all are welcome to them!

  94. booyah!

    Thanks for the laugh, kathrynzj! I feel much better now


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