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Saturday, February 05, 2011

11th Hour Preacher Party: Who Are You? What are you Doing Here? Edition

Good morning, gals and pals!  I heard a story a couple of weeks ago that is influencing my sermon preparation this week:

A rabbi was wandering through the forest one evening.  As he was praying and walking along, he lost his way and found himself in front of a military base, where a guard brought him out of his reverie by shouting, "Who are you?  What are you doing here?"  The rabbi replied, "How much do they pay you?"  "Why do you ask?" the guard wondered.  "Because," said the rabbi, "I need someone to ask me those questions every day.

I don't know why, but as I think about the gospel reading from Matthew today, and especially the promise that we are salt and light in our communities, I think about these questions.  When I think about the challenging questions of the prophet Isaiah, "Is this not the fast I choose....?", when I think of the words of Paul, "I chose to know nothing among you except Christ and him crucified..." I think about these questions. 

Who are you?  What are you doing here? 

I don't know about you, but I need someone to ask me these questions every day. 

So, what questions are you asking this morning, as you work on sermons, prayers, children's sermons, bulletins, family events, baptisms, cleaning the house, etc.?

I have blueberry pancakes for breakfast, just because I like 'em.  And orange juice.  And fair trade coffee, with vanilla.  I'd also like to direct you to a great discussion of the texts here. Come and share you questions, your food, your brilliant light and tasty salt.

113 comments:

  1. awesome story Diane. writing the sermon at present and I am hoping I can weave that in. the plan is to be finished in less than 2 hours. I will post the sermon when it is finished.

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  2. hi back again, I have posted
    identity
    children's talk and sermon.

    10.00pm Saturday evening, plenty of passionfruit to share, and I am about to make a cup of tea if anyone would like one.

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  3. Gosh, love the joke set up! I think my focus is going to be how the season of Epiphany has more to do with who WE are than who Jesus is. That and touching on how we tend to make Jesus in our own image--the projections we place upon Jesus (I'm reading American Jesus at the moment).

    Otherwise, I'm deep in the midst of nursling getting molars derived sleep deprivation and having trouble stringing two thoughts together.

    But, breakfast will be whole grain pancakes (frozen from last weekends batch); locally roasted coffee and veggie sausage. All are welcome.

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  4. I would love the passionfruit! I haven't had any since my. Summr in Kenya, and I absolutely love it.

    I'm up way too early with the baby. It's her usual time, although we usually cuddle in bed for a while. I'm just too uncomfortable in bed today so we headed to the family room.

    My question for the day: At what point and by what standard do you determine that you are too sick to be in worship? Yesterday i had a fever of 101.5. I don't know if I have one today yet, but so far I'm feeling pretty gross.

    My fear is that I'll make plans to not be there today, but then tomorrow i'll be perfectly fine. Also I do not yet have a sermon. I can't just give it to someone to preach. Do I, giving all credit whe credit is do find one in a book or online for someone to read? What have you done? Jules, I know your theory that all elders should have one ready to go. I read that this week and thought I'd introduce that idea at our next meeting...in 2 weeks. Poop.

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  5. Welcome, Pearl, Joy and SheRev! thanks for the passionfruit -- and the sermon.

    Joy, I would love whole grain pancakes, yum.

    And SheRev -- arg. I hate to say this, I don't know the answer to your question. When I was sick once here (passion Sunday, if you can believe it), I was writing Monologues, and the other pastor went ahead and read it.

    anyone?

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  6. Just wanted you all to know that the coffee's on, too...

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  7. Thank you for the story, Diane, and the coffee with pancakes.
    ;-)
    Today I have an interview with a pastoral search committee. It has been almost exactly two years since I left my last pastorate. And your story is fitting because...well there are a host of reasons why I should not even consider this church, along with a few why I should.

    Prayers for you, preaching friends, and I appreciate any said on my behalf.

    Dorcas (aka SingingOwl)

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  8. SO, prayers accompany you today!

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  9. This is a big weekend for me, and as a result my sermon is done....I will be gone from noon until 9pm tonight hosting a search committee team interviewing me and those who know me. They will also attend worship tomorrow where I will preach and preside.

    So, my sermon is posted, Be Salt - and since I only have this morning to review it and change it (already rewritten once or twice, but no...no anxiety here! LOL)...would really appreciate feedback, suggestions, comments, advice.

    Wish I could be around for more of the party - hope you all have a good day.

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  10. Dorcas - prayers for you.

    She Rev - it is absolutely appropriate to read a story, use someone else's sermon, with all credit given - when I was a solo pastor and preaching EVERY SUNDAY - sometimes I just had to offer what someone else had to say, to offer another voice...tired of my own...but also, I'd give someone a heads up that you are feeling icky, and may not be up to it tomorrow, and ask them to be on standby until tonight. If your fever comes back, regardless of whether you feel better tomorrow you will still need to rest. And if you have the sermon/story ready to go that person can offer that. - I hope you feel better and don't stress too much about this.

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  11. Terri -- we are praying for you today, you bet.

    And thanks for the words of advice coming SheRev's way....

    praying for you, too, SheRev...

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  12. I am slowly making my way towards being awake enough to work on my sermon, which hasn't gotten any attention this week, due to an emerging personnel problem drawing all my energy.

    OJ mixed with cranberry juice will hopefully perk me up.

    I have (in small spare moments) been thinking about the folk tale of the king and his daughters, and the one who said she loved him as much as salt, as my entry into thinking about saltiness and how necessary salt is. Or something in that direction.

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  13. sherev - take care of thyself! prayers for speedy recovery... but rest tomorrow indeed.

    dorcas and teri - prayers for guidance, wisdom, & grace...

    sermon? reworked one from a snow-sunday a few weeks ago. because when you preach EVERY sunday... as Teri said, sometimes you need a rest...

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  14. And Terri, prayers accompany you and all involved!

    Off to read your sermon.

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  15. SheRev: the rule they set for school children here is symptom-free for 24-hrs. (fever, vomiting, etc.) before returning.

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  16. SheRev -- I'd make arrangements that allow you to stay home tomorrow. If you wake up all full of health and vitality tomorrow morning, whoever you have lined up to read your sermon would probably be more than happy to hand that responsibility back to you. But the reverse is less true.

    I'm hear asking for your prayers. We've had some difficult pastoral care needs in our congregation and my soul is weary from walking alongside. I was just reminded that it is our turn to host an ecumenical evening service and meal. Thankfully I can use the same stuff BUT, well, this is a week I wasn't looking for MORE on my plate! So prayers, please, that there is energy enough left in my creativity and heart and mind for some sermon writing today.

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  17. Hello, all~
    SO and Terri, you have my prayers for your discernment. Blessings to both of you and the churches involved.
    My Service of Installation is tomorrow afternoon and I am excited to have kathrynzj arriving later today to preach in preparation for preaching at that service. I'm happy to say that although an email conversation between the two of us on a Saturday night long ago was the foundation of what is now the 11th Hour Preacher Party, we both have finished sermons, so the party can take another form on this occasion. It's going to snow (again), so we'll be tucked away at my house with my 15yo, watching chick flicks and eating homemade chicken soup. Not wild, but we're both preaching tomorrow, after all.

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  18. why, Songbird, give our regards to Kathrynzj, and thanks be to both of you for beginning this great party!

    I wish I was done before Saturday, this has been my goal as I always have a Saturday night service, and I don't like being down to the wire.

    And yesterday as I was working on writing, there were so many interruptions, including a woman coming in for a gas voucher, and young man coming in with memorial money from his mom's funeral and an emergency phone call and hospital woman about a woman who had a stroke and is in intensive care. Sad part of this one: she had just gotten engaged (an older woman for the first time) to the son of a member of my congregation, and was so happy! and when I got to the intensive care, I heard that the stroke was worse than they had at first imagined, and they are not positive at all.

    prayers for this family, and especially her fiance, would be appreciated.

    now, I have to finish my sermon.

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  19. Thanks for all the advice, friends. So far I'm feeling a lot better than yesterday. I'm going to lay low today, nap a little now while the baby naps and the big kids are entertained downstairs. I'll pull my sermon thoughts together a little more just after lunch and make my final determination about tomorrow then. So far the fever has not returned. TBTG

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  20. Hello Pals,

    So much going on so prayers and hugs all around. I am excited for those of you who are being considered for settled pastorates. SB I am thrilled for you and your installation. Give a hug to KZJ and take one for yourself.

    Now on to the sermon. BTW, Diane love the story, I might use it as a sermon illustration.

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  21. SheRev - glad you are feeling better. My advice is have a sermon ready (either one from a book with credit or your own) AND have someone on standby to read it for tomorrow. You don't know how you'll feel tomorrow and it's better to be prepared.

    I'm just back from the first of two state music competitions today. Son had an 8am performance time - trombone quartet played "In Dulci Jubilo" (aka Good Christian Friends Rejoice) and did a lovely job. Daughter has a 1:40 performance time.

    It's a good thing I'm not preaching this weekend, with the competitions and preparations for Son's birthday/superbowl party tomorrow. And I'm making a couple of meals to take to a friend who just had a baby. A busier Saturday than I've had in a long time!

    I may pop back in today to lend moral support.

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  22. She Rev! glad you are feeling better! hope you can do church tomorrow. As others have said, I still think it's a good idea to have a back up plan.

    Welcome to G_G and to Ramona. Ramona, I need all the support I can get :).

    though I'm moving past a stuck point on my sermon, and that's always a good thing...

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  23. Hello everyone!

    I'm having one of those "I know exactly what I want to say, but can't quite figure out how to say it" sermons. The title is "Let Your Light Shine," and since this is a family service in which the kids stay in worship, I'm trying to keep it simple. I know I'm ending with everyone writing down how they're going to let their light shine on an insert in the bulletin, to be hung in our fellowship hall afterwards...but nothing to lead up to that!

    I'm bringing slightly-overdone apple cinnamon muffins to the party.

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  24. Like many of you, the weather has caused shifts to the regular schedule. So I'm kinda behind on sermon prep but kinda not since I've been thinking about the Matt text for two weeks because I didn't preach last week.

    I'm thinking that sometimes we think being salt isn't very sexy, you know, not rosemary or basil just salt. Which makes me think about RevHRod's post about her grandfather who didn't go off to war. I'm also thinking that the light might not be neon or flashing light but the light left on for the one who hasn't come home yet or the nightlight that keeps us from stumbling in the dark.

    or something like that

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  25. PRAYERS! Just got a text that the plane carrying the search committee members is having instrument problems and has to turn around. Who knows what this will mean for the next 24 hours of well laid plans...I hope they are safe and somehow this all works out without too much duress...

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  26. Good morning everyone! Glad to see things percolating out there. I am doing salt and light, but I'm also very intrigued in the part where Jesus talks about coming not to abolish the law but to fulfill it...unfortunately I am not quite sure what I want to say about that just yet. Started reading and thinking yesterday, but unlike last week I have nothing actually written yet.

    Fortunately annual meetings are complete, but today I have to make a pilgrimage to the recycling center and go watch a friend perform in a play, so it's not quite open for sermon-writing. And if time allows, I'd really like to get the Christmas tree (!) down today.

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  27. Oh NO. Prayers for Terri and the search committee and their airplane! It's never good when you are already slightly stressed out and then something happens to REALLY stress you out. And prayers for She Rev's health, Singing Owl's interview and discernment process, and Songbird's installation.

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  28. Terri -- praying praying praying

    be back again soon.

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  29. She Rev, I just had to answer that question myself. I came down with the flu (so much for that flu shot last fall!) on Tuesday; I had a high fever, bad cough, and exhaustion. By this morning, the fever is under 101 in the evening (remember that's when it tends to rise), the cough isn't quite as bad, and I have somewhat more mental focus. I asked myself a few things: If I were my parishioner, would I want me to be there? Am I sure I will have both the mental and physical energy to be fully present? Would being there put me at risk of relapse? With "no" to the first two and "yes" to the third, I had an honest if unpalatable answer. I am fortunate to have backup (and she has known since Wed that this might happen), which does make it easier. Prayers for wisdom as you decide. Herbert O'Driscoll and Frederick Buechner have been good backup for me in the past.

    Terri and Dorcas, many prayers for today's meetings...and let us know how it goes! And Meg, may you find the strength to get through the week and unexpected moments of rest to sustain you.

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  30. Sherev, sorry you are under the weather. When I was sick one time on a Sunday (woke up too dizzy to stand), I called the music director early in the morning he led a hymn sing during the sermon time. He loved it and so did the congregation. Dont know if that would fly in a more liturgical setting.

    Thinking of Terri and Dorcas and new calls.

    AND waving hello to you two at the real live preacher party!

    So, I have a draft from Thurs that I ahve not looked at today yet. I hope it's decent, because I just I have a half hour to tweak it now, then getting some stuff ready to pick up my bro at the airport! Excited! But not too focussed!

    Grateful for that story Diane - was going to use the one from Paker Palmer about when Zuzya gets to heaven "they will not ask why were not Moses, they will ask why were you not Zuzya" but I have a feeling I've told that one before, so glad for a fresh way to begin. Thanks!

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  31. Oh, Terri, just the kind of stress you DON"T need. Praying that it will all work out okay. And prayers for you, too, Dorcas in your discernment process.

    I'm getting a late start here today--I was at the hospital with the family of a woman being removed from life support for 16+ hours yesterday and didn't get to bed til almost 3 am. That on top of another wonky weather week (SNOW! ICE! REPEAT!) have me off kilter. We have continued building problems--leaky roof in three place due to ice, one of the new boilers may be defective--but I know in the grand scheme of things, those are small first-world problems and I'm trying to hold them in that perspective.

    So I'm doing something on salt and light but not sure what. I don't think I've ever preached on this gospel before but the salt losing its saltiness has always intrigued me.

    But before I start writing I need to go to the grocery store because it's "slim pickings" around here right now.

    She Rev, I hope you feel better, and can find a back up just in case.

    SB, best wished on your installation and how wonderful that you have KJZ preaching!

    My word verification is "cluest" and I wish I had one!

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  32. For the children's time I am thinking of bringing an ice cream ball, adding the salt and ice with the kids and then somehow passing it around (maybe during the sharing of the peace?) so that by the end of the service there is some ice cream. Maybe lots of ice cream if supplemented by some buckets. I have also made ice cream in ziplock bags and coffee cans but the possibility for disaster seems greater with those. Any thoughts?

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  33. ooh, Juniper, I like that story too... you can't have too many stories in your repertoire, imho.

    although you can't use them all in one Sunday.

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  34. looks like the search committee is boarding another plane and should be here with only a slight delay...whoohoo

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  35. Anonymous: HOW Creative! so great!

    Terri -- so glad to hear it's only a blip on your plans. whew! prayers continue...

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  36. Prayers that things all fall into place as they should!

    Juniper, I think I will use that Zusya story. I'd forgotten about it, but I think it will illustrate very well to the kids AND adults that God has given each of them their own light to shine.

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  37. Re-read what I wrote and need to make a correction: the question isn't really whether I can be fully present--there are days when I am perfectly healthy and that doesn't happen!--but whether I can be adequately present. It is so darn hard to take the counsel we give everyone else, in part because sometimes it's more work not to be there than it is just to go despite it not being a good idea :-o

    An idea that would work for a children's time, though you'd need to engage everyone as young kids won't be able to quite get the metaphors themselves: bring in a variety of items--bar of soap, wrench, pepper mill, pair of shoes, flash drive, camera, etc.--and ask people to to use the item to think of a new "You are the [item} of the world" explanation. "We are the flash drives of the world, because we are called to remember our past/to remember who God calls us to be/to hold and offer up all kinds of information..." and so on. It gets people thinking in some practical terms about what is our role as Christians in the world.

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  38. seriously considering opening the sermon with that story...

    for children's time i am using an oil lamp I had almost forgotten I had tucked away in a box from moving. Not sure what exactly I am doing with it, but I finally found oil for it yesterday (in the 6th or 7th store I tried)!

    And of course I need to set up for the Annual Meeting where folks will be asked to approve an Accessibility project that we estimate will cost $125 000.

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  39. oh Gord -- praying for your annual meeting.

    and now you've got me humming that old spiritual, "keep your lamps trimmed and burning..."

    I think I'm going to do a children's sermon based on the question, "who are you?" and ask them their names. talk about names like sister, brother, mom, dad, and "child of God."

    I just went to the store and bought a butt-load of birthday candles and little packets of salt, to give out to everyone in the congregation to take with them.

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  40. I do have a bushel basket, so I'm going to show that using a flashlight since I don't have an oil lamp.

    I'm finding it more difficult than expected to write a sermon that speaks to kids as young as 6 that's not too "dumbed down" for the adults. Then again, the adults often like the simplicity of children's sermons, so maybe they won't mind when I note that when I say the light inside us, I don't mean a real light.

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  41. Hi everybody! Lookie who is at the preacher Party. I'm filling in for a colleague tomorrow and next week.

    I'm preaching on Salt And Light. So far I have my opening:

    "If this past week has taught us anything, it is that there is really only one difference between Green Bay, Wisconsin and Arlington, Texas: salt. Lots and lots of salt."

    Those in the crowd will get this on Super Bowl Sunday, I think! Green Bay and Arlington has just about the same temperature and similar precipitation. But without salt, life in Texas was severely hampered, while life in WI carried on like nothing had happened.

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  42. For those who don't know the Preacher Party origin story, you can find it here.

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  43. Jules, I LOVE your opening! welcome, welcome, welcome.

    can't wait to read the rest.

    I have a sermon, may tweak the ending after being out and about, but we'll see. maybe I'll post, later.

    Songbird, coming over to read the story, now.

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  44. I am having a serious motivation problem. With the change in worship plans this week, I'm sort of unexpectedly preaching on last week's Micah passage combined with Psalm 25. Next week I'm scheduled to preach on salt and light (which was going to be available due to this week's confirmation class leading worship plan...). So two weeks in a row a week behind the lectionary is making me feel like I don't really want to do anything, because I want to be working on salt and light with you all instead! Plus the part where I'm trying not to be annoyed with both myself and the class for not being ready and so leaving me to preach instead. add that to the fact that one of my best friends is moving away today and we have a recipe for "can't I just sit on the couch and mope?" Unfortunately, the answer appears to be no, since Sunday is still coming tomorrow.

    So...I have absolutely no idea what I'm going to preach about. Maybe I'll just talk about Egypt. Or maybe I'll talk about the things the confirmation class was supposed to talk about. Or maybe I'll have an impromptu hymn sing because I'm too tired and discouraged to locate the word of the Lord today. Or maybe I'll suck it up and inspiration will strike and 1000 words will magically appear on my screen.

    which would probably require the opening of a word document....

    I do have Green Bean Casserole to share, for those of you who want to indulge in a little snow-day-comfort-food...

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  45. Teri, if you're taking votes, I vote for you to talk about Egypt.

    I'm back from recycling and church errands, now eating lunch and then back at it.

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  46. hello everyone. I just got here to church and was thinking that I actually don't have to have a children's message tomorrow because we have a baptism. and when I got here I had a message from the young mother saying they have to cancel the baptism for tomorrow because she is on her way to the ER with terrible pain in one of her legs. doesn't know what is causing it. She had a blood clot in one of her legs for her whole pregnancy and was on bedrest, but this is the other leg.

    would appreciate your prayers.

    thanks.

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  47. Teri, I think you are in an excellent position to talk about Egypt. And remember the adagea about Bible in one hand and newspaper in the other?

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  48. The baby's napping, the big kids are "resting," my husband is grocery shopping. I guess this is when I'm supposed to be working on my sermon. Still feeling better and better, so I'm planning to be there tomorrow and preach my own sermon. Now I just need that sermon. I have a pretty decent outline that will be augmented by your story, Diane. My title is "You Are" so that one is perfect.

    However, it is also our town's annual hot air balloon festival. The morning launch didn't happen since it was too foggy. The family is going over for the 3:30 launch. It's my FAVORITE thing about winter here, so I think I'll bundle up and watch from the car. I don't have it in me to get out and wander around, but I HAVE to watch from the car.

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  49. Well, I have at least a draft done. (Back when I did this every week I hardly ever was done by 2:00! Just sayin'.) SheRev, there is a whole lot of "You are" in my sermon.

    I also talk about Egypt, a little, but also about the acts of 'salt and light' I saw in my own community this past week.

    If you've read my blog post from earlier this week, you know I have equated preaching for a crowd you don't know to "buying underwear for strangers". Let's hope this sermon is not some baggy old granny-drawers. :)

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  50. Hi all,

    Gotta go to a friends house to take care of her twin babies. She has to go to the emergency room so it could be a long night.

    Here is my sermon. A bit more prophetic than pastoral. Hopefully the light that will shine from my congregation won't be me being burned at the stake. Come on over and say a prayer.

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  51. Love the idea of buying undies for strangers LOL. I tend to preach loads o' challenging/commissioning sorts of sermons. Soooo, I'm tempted to go with the sweet illustration I wrote for my blog...with a little more flanking to shore it up. Feel free to comment!

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  52. hi, just back from a quick trip to the hospital. so far, everyone's holdin their own...

    SheRev, I love the title 'you are'. funny thing, that story didn't end up in my sermon.

    I think I'll post and see what you all think.

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  53. I posted my sermon and realize it may need some minor revision.

    be that as it may, here it is

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  54. hi all,

    got to friends house with my beloved. I am on the internet the internet with my laptop so I can party with you all. My friend is in really bad shape, she's been throwing up all day and her body is so sore she can't move.

    So beloved and I are happy to help however both babies have diarrhea, can I get a "craptastic".

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  55. you know what I'm going to say? You're a good person, G_G.

    glad you are back.

    I will read your sermon as soon as I'm done preaching the early edition.

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  56. I am a solo pastor who preaches every single week and today I was in a big "please-don't-make-me-write-another-sermon" funk but reading through these comments has helped snap me out of it. Thank you!

    God_Guurrll I read your sermon and I love it. I think I might now head in a similar direction with mine.

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  57. Back from the balloon launch that didn't launch - - too windy. We did however come home with a big bag of kettle corn. The trip out may have been a less than wise decision, but I don't think it'll knock me totally out.

    Balloon launch turned into movie night for our family since "The Big Game" is on tomorrow night. Jules, we didn't get much of the storm at ll, otherwise I might just have to steal your salt joke! Wonder how much green and gold we'll have under the choir robes this week?

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  58. GodGurrl is apparently speaking the Word to many of us today! I got inspired...unfortunately not for this week's sermon, but for NEXT week's sermon and the week after that, by her analysis of to whom Jesus is addressing these words. Thank you GG! I made a bunch of notes to pick up again after tomorrow.

    Now back to this week's sermon. Ugh.

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  59. Well the twins and beloved like my sermon. I read it to the babies to keep them from fussing. They listened with rapt attention and in the end one of them pooted. Now we'll see if my congregation does the same.

    Thanks for the comments friends. Glad the gospel is inspiring us the same way. Now on to the children's sermon.

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  60. The twins like Lady Gaga. Who knew! One of them is falling sleep to "Bad Romance"

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  61. A quick review of the day here and Love the opening Jules. I'm salt and lighting it too. I'm going to ask the congregation to tell me times when they've added spice to life and times when the church has been a light. It will be interactive and hopefully they will cooperate, they usually do.

    Prayers for you Teri! Best wishes, you will be great!

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  62. Um...GodGuurrlll...I'm hoping your congregation doesn't poot at the end of your sermon! Thanks for the laugh though!

    I have a draft! Finally! 1336 words and it uses this story from Egypt. I don't quite feel it's ready to preach, but at least I have something and hopefully won't be up all night (my belated New Year's resolution).

    Hope things are continuing to percolate for everyone out there...for supper I have some pulled chicken in mole sauce to share, if anyone's hungry...

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  63. well friend's husband called, said that she might have meningitis. Oy that's the last thing she needs right now. Please pray for her. Also me and beloved too...I just read on the innerwebs that meningitis is highly contagious. Crappity doo da!

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  64. oh semfem, thanks for the link!!!

    really love it!

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  65. well, I preached the early edition and it went okay. I tried to highlight the little packets of salt and the teeny candles a little more and tell people to keep the candles and salt with them to remind them throughout the week of who they are.

    now for the children's message. hmmm.

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  66. Glad to see so many are finishing up. Movie night is over and my fever is back. Fan-frickin'-tastic. Getting on the phone to look for Plan B, I think. All of you who told me to do this earlier in the day - - you told me so. I was holding out because tomorrow is a communion day and I really didn't want to have to mess around with rescheduling/cancelling that, so I was sort of in denial that I might need to.

    Will start hitting the phone lines, I think.

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  67. how is everyone? We're having soup for supper (I think). does anyone else want some?

    also, who has a children's message? I have a glimmer, but not everything...

    If you read my sermon and have an idea for tweaking it, let me know...

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  68. Oh She Rev. I'm so sorry. please let us know how it's going. you are still not well, are you?

    you are in my prayers...

    this happened after church tonight: woman comes up to me and says, "Are they going to get a pastor? Because if they don't get a pastor, I'm thinking about joining another church."

    (I'm thinking, what am I, chopped liver?)

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  69. Diane, that sort of thing is so infuriating!

    G-G, prayers for the mom and for all of you who might've been exposed. You've covered a vast range with those little babes today :-)

    SheRev, so sorry to hear that the dread late-day return of the fever has occurred. I hope you find a plan B relatively easily and can go back to the task of resting.

    I am okay with missing church tomorrow because of being sick, since I do have a good back up, but I am beyond disappointed to miss the party we were going to in the afternoon. Same group of 10 gathered last year and it was so much fun that I've been looking forward to it all year. Drats.

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  70. SB, I am so glad to hear that KJZ is there!

    GG, it depends which kind it is for how contagious it is. I hope you don't catch anything

    While on a geocaching adventure this afternoon, I recognized a guy that we met geocaching on the first BE. That was way cool!

    Too bad I can't put that into my sermon.

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  71. goodness, you all have been busy.

    plans to site-see with brother got derailed today by a kid with a fever and sore throat (red, but no spots - do you guys think he can go skiing tomorrow?)

    but, bro and I had a good walk and talk, now I need to make 2 (hopefully short!) phone calls and then it will be time to look back at my sermon.

    ::waving at Jules:: good to see you, sistah!

    g-g- I join the rest of us who are inspired by your sermon, esp glad to remember the Nelson Mandela quote - thanks! Sorry to hear about your friend - I have a horror of meningitis - I hope that is not what it is. Scary for babies, esp.

    Diane - I am all ready to come right out there and kick that lady in the shins. good thing for her I am a follower of jesus!

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  72. popcorn anyone?

    and, what about SALT?

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  73. Hello, all! Thanks for keeping me company today and I lurked around. Ongoing prayers for all the many joys and challenges that are lifted up here.

    If you are still looking for a sermon illustration, or want one to tuck away, this article was mentioned on the Text Week facebook feed. It knocked me out...

    http://www.huffingtonpost.com/kevin-salwen/the-slightly-absurd-thing_b_817480.html

    We have communion (abundance from God) & giving of cans of soup for SOUPer Bowl Sunday (abundance (?) given in response).

    Still smoothing out the edges...Spirit willing. I think I'll sleep on it.

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  74. My sermon is here.

    I'm a little rusty, but it is what it is.

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  75. Jules -- I'll bet it's awesome. I'm coming over right now.

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  76. Wow! Lots has been going on since I checked in last!

    Terri - glad the search committee plane situation was resolved.

    Betsy- Don't forget to ask: Am I contagious and could I possibly pass what I have on to a frail congregant?

    Jules - loved your opening illustration!

    Teri - praying for the Spirit to pour down on you (which somehow brings to mind the girl with the umbrella on the Morton Salt containers!! LOL)

    I got the salsa and quac made for tomorrow's party, but not the veggies cut up. Daughter got a 1 at her vocal solo contest. She was so nervous, and burst into tears as soon as she was out of the judge's line of sight. She's so excited about the 1 ranking. The only black shadows on the day was the weather and hubby's recent job loss. Prayers are requested as we are now a no-income family - at least until I get a call or he finds a new job.

    The sermons posted so far are great - I wish I could be in the pew for each of them!! Prayers for inspiration as the sermonating contunies.

    Let the Holy Spirit pour down abundantly on all who are preaching and all who hear.

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  77. Ramona, it is that question that has solidified my decision. I was questionong it after the Personnel chair said, "Well you sound really good." The lady I called to have read my sermon reassured me that I have no business being around our old folks (and too many of several ages in the midst of chemotherapy) with this fever no matter how OK I may feel momentarily.

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  78. Hi, everybody! We're watching Four Weddings and a Funeral here, and I have a sermon for the morning: By the Book.

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  79. ok! I have something like a draft, which is more than I had an hour ago (and Jules, I talka bout that picture too and in almost exactly the same way, but I wrote mine before I read yours, honest).

    I still have to pack tonite to be gone for a week (ack!) at a training - Anyone else gonna be at Stephen Ministry training in Anaheim this week? Sunny and 72, you guys!!! Of course, I'll be in a hotel confereence room the whole time, but still awesome to know that the sun is actually shining somewhere.

    Ok, going out for chinese: Broccoli beef or general tso's chicken anyone?

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  80. Sherev - glad you are staying home. sorry you feel poopy, though...

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  81. I'm home now, sermon and prayers written printed and ready to go. My friend is still at the hospital for observation, her hubby came home so we could go home.

    Thanks for all of your support, prayers and good humor! You are my light, a city on a hill!

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  82. Hi all, back from worship, home communion and lunch.

    I did little cards, the size of a business card, with space for people to write their name. I thought I put " I .... am named by God as : child, beloved, forgiven, salt of the earth, light of the world."
    But I left out "God as" , so it is "I .... am named by: "

    and I didn't realise until I gave one to the person at home communion.

    good thing God has better names for me, because my immediate thought was how stupid.

    Any of you still writing, hope you finish soon.

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  83. okay, I posted a "sermon" (picture air quotes there..they're deserved), complete with pictures.

    I don't think it goes anywhere, but it does show people how I've struggled to connect scripture with what's going on in the world. or something.

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  84. The sermon is printed! Hallelujah! Many of us are finishing! Hurray! People are sick...boo...but thank goodness for good friends and Plan Bs!

    I ended up actually adding more words, ack!, definitely not what I had planned. But I think it hangs together pretty well and my mom likes it (although she's sort of required to, heh). Off now to take a shower and get ready for bed.

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

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  85. ok, my children's sermon on the fly: ask the children, "who are you?" talk about names and nicknames, and what else they are called. Then talk about their name being "child of God." that's who they are. I was thinking I might bring a lot of name tags and ask each of them their name and put if on the name tag and put it on them, too. but I'm not sure about this part. I could just write "child of god" on each name tag, but I don't think I have time to do that before church tomorrow.

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  86. Teri: It's way better than you think. Trust me. I was moved. Thank you for sharing it (and for taking my vote for Egypt seriously!).

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  87. seems like a lot of us are finishing up. I got some dishes to do and studying...

    is anybody still out there?

    because I could make tea.

    and I really want to get to 90

    or 100 comments

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  88. Diane,
    Do you have large size mailing labels (that you put through a printer) that you could turn into name-tags? I did that once and typed the "Hello, my name is..." in normal type font, then found a handwriting kind of font "beloved child of God." That way, I could print bunches and it was much faster than handwriting them all!

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  89. I'm still here & will be for awhile. I'm hoping SheRev is already resting because plan B is in place. semfem - well played getting done this early! wow

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  90. Silent -- this is really sad to admit, but I think we have those, but I wouldn't know how to do it. great idea though. arg

    and Teri -- just wanted to say: I really like the words AND the pictures. Do you do multi-media sermons? I am impressed. would really like to do that.

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  91. Vicar -- I will make you some tea.

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  92. Diane--yes, we use powerpoint in worship so I'll be able to project the pictures during the sermon. I put on the blog the same ones that are in the powerpoint.

    Normally I can't make decisions like that at the last minute, but part of the drama of worship planning this week left me with powerpoint duty, so....

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  93. Diane - what a good idea, tea.

    Teri - I'm glad that the chaos also has provided opportunity. Great, thoughtful, practical sermon

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  94. Diane,
    Clearly I'm procrastinating...but I found my file with the labels I had made in the past. I found your email address on your blogger profile and sent that file as an attachment. It might not be helpful if you can't get your hands on those size labels. You could also print on cardstock and then use tape or pins to put them on the kids...

    Or not, but I felt useful doing this and it was a good mental break. Hopefully now when I go back to my sermon I can get it wrapped up and get to bed!

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  95. great! tea it is.

    I'm watching Gandhi, and already mad. he just got thrown out of the train in South Africa.

    Here's a blast from the past: the first time I watched, I was living in Japan.

    I kind of want some wine, but not so sure that's a good thing.

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  96. Just arriving home. Thanks for the prayers. Terri, thinking of you and praying for all to go as it should. Songbird, I am so glad that Kathryn is there with you.
    :-) Blessings on the day! Prayers for SheRev, and all who are proclaiming the good news tomorrow. Interview was interesting. The didn't ask me what I thought they would. An ecclectic group, but I like them. Except for one woman who made two comments that were so rude (I think--and hope--unknowingly) that it took my breath away. I know one guy was right with me, nodding away, making great comments...they are interviewing another person in two weeks, and then (I think) they will decide from there who they want to come preach. Small church, great potential, it seems. I'll let you know what comes. Rev Gals and Pals are a light in my life. Good night, and happy preaching!

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  97. Silent -- why thank you! that is so nice! I can use something.

    and the story behind this is that I had a baptism, which got postponed (long story, but the mom was ill), and we usually don't do a children's message when there's a baptism.

    so....last minute children's message.

    and we may make it to 100 comments!

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  98. Even though I may be the only RevNightOwl who will be functioning in the later hours, I can talk to myself enough for us to hit 100 if I *have* to

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  99. Vicar! you did it! ding ding ding ding ding!

    Is there a prize for 100?

    thanks for playing!

    I am knitting a couple more rows and then going to bed.

    I'll check in once more Vicar, and see if anyone else is here.

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  100. I'm hoping I'm not still here when the early birds start checking in

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  101. Vicar, I'm sorry to say that I'm calling it a night. I'm not quite done with the sock, but I need to get up early and make some copies...

    also, I forgot to do the dishes. oops!

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  102. Good night to you, too, Vicar; I'm usually around to keep you company for another couple of hours, but not tonight. There are some wonderful tropical fruit flavor popsicles in the freezer if you'd like one!

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  103. Betsy - I didn't realize anyone else was around. Glad you're headed for bed though

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  104. I must be the luckiest revgal out here. Because I live in the last timezone before tomorrow I get to bathe in the wisdom that has gone around the world. Thanks for all your wonderful words and thoughts. Got a few more hours before I head to bed, but still will get plenty of sleep.

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  105. akpastor - welcome to the party! glad you joined us

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  106. I am finishing up the formatting and printing of the sermon. On to prayers now

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  107. hi everybody - checking in one more time, but looks like most of us are headed to beddy-by, which is where I'm going too, after one more look at the manuscript. (is there a prize for 110?). Got time for a little more wrangling tomorrow morning, thank goodness!

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  108. Juniper - glad you're almost done, too.

    I just finished printing everything. Off to bed now.

    Blessings on your Sunday

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  109. Good morning everyone! I'm here with coffee for everyone and a reminder, as always, that the Holy Spirit has got our backs! (and I wouldn't have it any other way)

    God be with you this morning...

    and have a blessed Sunday afternoon as well...

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