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Saturday, February 12, 2011

11th Hour Preachers Party: Choices (and) Offerings edition

"I set before you..."

"If you choose..."

"Offering your gift at the altar..."

"Go, be reconciled..."

Our readings offer us many choices. Where are you being led? What ideas are rising up in you?

Will you ponder what "commandments" mean and what it means to "keep" them? Will you discern something about the way human beings hurt one another and what it means to seek reconciliation? What about forgiveness?

...and what about all that we "desire" in life, and how those desires may (or may not) pull us away from what God desires of us?

There are many different directions in which to take these texts. What are your choices and offerings?

I have lots to offer: coffee, tea, hot chocolate, eggs, pancakes, toast, muffins. What is your pleasure? Please, pull up a chair, let's share!


  1. Hi Terri and RevGals,

    preaching on Matthew and Deuteronomy readings.

    Choose life

    my turn to lead prayers of the people, so now to think about that, then hopefully an earlyish night.

  2. Presbytery today, so not much sermonating going on this morning. I'm taking on Deuteronomy, too. I have no food to offer, as I'm in need of a grocery run, but if anyone wants an attentive sermon cat, I have one who is free all morning.

  3. 11.00 pm, time for chamomile tea and bed. happy sermon writing. I'll drop in tomorrow.

  4. Given that the ink on my divorce papers has barely dried, I'm not going all the way with the gospel lesson. But as we begin four weeks of Stewardship (our fiscal year is atypical), I like the idea of calling people to be clear about what an important part of commitment it is to work together as the faithful: in our church, in our ecumenical community and in the world. So we're reading the first part of the gospel lesson (in my words: you are proud of yourselves because you don't kill each other, do you really think that's enough?), as well as 1 Corinthians 3:1-9.

    We've had a great example of team spirit in our local church life as literally dozens of church members participated in making 300 chicken pies to be sold yesterday. We'll lift that up at the Children's Time. For the sermon, I'm thinking I'll begin with an anecdote about being on a team or rooting for a team in a way that divides a school, a camp, a family. You're still a group, but you allow rivalries to develop. We do that in churches all.the.time. And that's exactly what both Jesus and Paul are warning against. Our collective effort is called to live out the leading of God's Spirit.

    Or something like that.

    I'm in that place where I'm way more interested in opening worship for BE 4.0 than anything else, because I am a highly skilled procrastinator.

  5. P.S. I have not used the relationship between Muslims and Christians in Egypt as a sermon illustration yet, and I think this may be the week.

  6. Anybody else see "127 Hours"?
    I think there's some correlation to the Gospel there. . .

  7. Hi all,

    I am going to preach on the Matthew text. I kept thinking about South Africa's truth and reconcilliation council all week as I pondered the Matthew text and am wondering how to blend what happened in Egypt with South Africa and then how to apply it to my current church setting. tall order I know. I will see what todays study brings.

  8. My beginning thoughts are on my blog. I wrote it yesterday, for a supply gig at a church to which I've never been. So you'd have to know me to know what lies behind it, and if you don't (as the congregation doesn't), it will probably work. I'll post it tonight, after it's had time to sit with itself for awhile.

  9. hi everyone. I'm not preaching, except at a funeral this afternoon for a woman who died this week after a short illness. sad part: she had just gotten engaged.

    I like your translation of that part of the Matthew text, Songbird.

    And I have not heard of 127 days, so now I'm curious.

    almost done preparing for funeral...

    I'll probably be checking in throughout the day.

  10. oh, and Terri -- thanks for the food. I'm hungry!

  11. Songbird, I am wondering how much one sells a chicken pie for?
    Opening worship at BE 4!!!!!

    I have written my intro, and now off to retreat with 13 year olds.

    I am a little panicked--I didn't think of putting Egypt in my sermon. Hmmmmmm. I don't know where any of this is going.

  12. Perking along with I Corinthians as my main text augmented by Deuteronomy. Yes, I chickened out on the Gospel reading and the ink on my divorce papers are about 3 years ahead of yours SB, in your mercy Lord...

    I am hoping to take Paul's cry for unity one step further into religious pluralism but must be wary not to put words he never said into his mouth. He is clearly speaking to the Christian community, such as it was.

    I will most likely be pulling in the Christians and Muslims protecting each other while each prayed.

  13. kzj, if you have an awesome link to that story, I hope you'll share it.

    (Also, amen.)

  14. The chicken pies are chicken and gravy in a double-crust pie, all made from scratch in our church kitchen. (So not a pot pie with vegetables; there is a LOT of chicken in each pie.) They are $13 each. The church does a sit-down supper every October and some years does a mid-winter pie sale as an extra fund-raiser. It's an amazing operation that absolutely depends on well-coordinated teamwork.

  15. Good morning, RevGals! Lots going on in the early hours of the part! We're expecting a thaw this week, beginning today, and that's exciting in this area of the world...

    Pearl, hope you rest well.
    sko3, hope the meeting goes well, other Presby meetings recently have been eventful.

    Songbird, love your interpretation in that it brings home the point. I've always thought a fiscal stewardship/budget is good idea instead of a fall/end of year.

    God_Gurll - lots to ponder w/ T&R,

    Cindy, I have not seen the movie but keep us posted on how your sermon is formulating around it...

    Robin, will be round to read what you offer. It's peculiar to preach at a place one has never been, but part of me likes it too - ne preconceived ideas of who they are.

    Karla, I was wondering the same about those chicken pies...

    Welcome Diane and kathrynjz...

    and if I missed anyone - welcome! Now, for coffee!

  16. It was a NY Daily News story:

    Did anyone write down the tweet that was reported right before Mubarak's final speech. Something like being on the cusp of victory.

  17. Camille, over at the Feminist Theology blog I manage, reflects this week on the gospel, Mary Magdalene, and the heart of Jesus. It has a hat tip to Valentine's Day.

  18. Prayers for you as you prepare for your funeral, Diane. A situation in my congregation that rings similar has been on my mind as I have thought about the texts this week. I'm definitely going with Deuteronomy. We were waiting for news about a lung biopsy of a member - - not so young really, but a woman who burried her husband who died from cancer probably 10 years ago, then came home to take care of her very very elderly parents. Her mom died a couple of years ago and her dad has severe dementia. She has just recently begun to allow herself a little slack in her care of him. He is in a nursing home. She met a man about a year ago and has had a lovely relationship with him. They went to India together as Rotary ambassadors in December. Within a week of coming back she had back pains. The source of which was determined as stage 4 lung cancer this week. (As everyone always seems to ask, no she never smoked a day in her life.)

    So, all week while we have been waiting I've been thinking about what will it mean for her to choose life. Does it equal taking treatment or can it mean dying well? What were the Hebrew people thinking about as they looked across the Jordan? What challenges were before them and how were they going to choose life as they faced them?

    I've thought about cold feet as a way in, which I might tie to Valentine's Day/weddings/blah blah blah. I MIGHT refer to the Matthew reading without actually reading it, summarizing or paraphrasing the first portions as examples of what it means to choose life. Songbird, I love your "translation." We're always trying for the bare minimum aren't we?

    I'm feeling a LOT better than last week finally. I really didn't come back to almost full capacity until yesterday. My cought is still hanging on and very nagging. I'll make sure there's water in the pulpit and at the communion table (since we had to delay communion because of my absence last week). I will definitely need it.

    Pancakes or waffles coming soon. We'll see which the kids vote for!

  19. We are going to enjoy sunny skies today which will melt quite a bit of that white stuff on the ground and piled by the driveway. Yay!

    Mostly Matthew with a bit of "choose life".

    Any ideas for a children's time which consists of one child in the 3rd grade?

  20. Good morning, good women! You folks have sure been busy over here already this morning. As for me, I am still sipping my coffee and trying to get full awake.

    SB, those chicken pies sound so delicious. What a neat thing y'all do.

    I am preaching Deuteronomy, which is such a beautiful text I feel I can hardly do anything other than get up and read it. But of course I must. I reread BBT's sermon on it in Gospel Medicine, which was just lovely.

    Btw, if any of you are looking to procrastinate, I've been interestedly following what's going on in the PC(USA) with the letter inviting people to come talk about seceding. I'm not Presbyterian, but I got interested when a Presby clergy friend of mine linked to this amazing blog post by Presbyterian NT scholar Margaret Aymer Oget. Man, that woman can preach!

  21. Good morning revgals! The house is filled with the scent of a biscotti Woodwick candle I left burning all night on the mantle (oops) and the toll house squares I forgot to cook last night and so just finished baking. Should be ready to eat soon! I have mostly finished my sermon to preach tonight, called Breaking the Rules - using David Lose's fine article at Working Preacher, among other things. I am doing my best to get the family out the door for a cross country skiing trip but the three girls and my husband are all grumpy. I want to get going! especially since I have to leave for the church at 3:30. Saturdays are not really the best days of the week around here. Sigh.
    Blessings to all as you prepare!

  22. Back to say that in poking around further on Margaret Aymer Oget's blog, I found her blog project to be really fascinating and thought some of you might as well. About a month ago, she decided to read through the Greek NT, a chapter a day, and then she shares her thoughts. She lays out the Greek text, listing the vocab level, the grammar level, etc., and then she raises her questions and offers her thoughts on: honor/shame; empire/kingship; the role of honor and shame, empire, intersectionality (of gender, race, sex(uality), age, ability, class); migration and the creation of diaspora space; and sacred texture.

    It looks fascinating!!

  23. It is early and I am relieved to say that the meat of it is typed into the document and I could preach it. Full day from now on with basketball at 11:30 then up to the youth's retreat site to hear their ideas about what they want in our next AP (sense of humor anyone?) and to serve Communion. Glad I don't have the 'omg I have not written my sermon yet' feeling to ride on my back.

    Also, fighting a cold, but grateful it is this week and not two weeks from now. BE4!!!

    She Rev, prayers for your parishioner and your ministry to her and those around her.

    Blessings all!

  24. Hey all- preaching on the Matthew, with some tie in to the Deuteronomy text. Gearing up for a guest speaker who is coming in the afternoon to talk about faith and sexuality with parents: how we help our kids navigate the choices they will face growing up. The guest will come back later in the week to lead sessions with middle schoolers and high schoolers. She is progressive on the topic, and very gifted. I'm excited...

    So! With Valentines Day and the guest coming, I may swirl around with lust for a bit - but in the end talk about relationships,our inner thoughts and feelings, and how God desires a way of life for us even in the depths of our souls... Sermon title is 'the heart of the matter' We'll see. It's time to start typing, I think.

    I'm here with strong coffee and leftover carrot cake from a dinner party I hosted last night :)

  25. She Rev -- so glad you are feeling better. praying for your parish member as well.

    be back later.

  26. Good morning SheRev - glad you feel better...waffles, please...and, so sorry to hear about the member of your congregation...I hope the outcome is better than anticipated.

    And welcome mumpastor - cross-country skiing would be perfect today.

    Earthchick - thanks for the resource!

    Purple - we're expecting a good thaw of that white stuff too!

    Children's ideas, anyone?

  27. Good morning and welcome, RevJulie - what awesome work going on where you is tempting to talk about lust, isn't it!

  28. Just to be clear, I am no more tempted to *talk* about lust than I am to talk about divorce. ;-)

  29. aww ((Songbird)), I hear you, but RevJulie is tempted...and certainly the text leave the opportunity wide open...

  30. I'm tempted to go to the gym this morning, teased by the opportunity to work out, so later I can lust after a piece of cake...

    (that's how exciting my life is)

  31. Morning all! Don't tell my water aerobics friends, but I am blowing off class this morning to get and earlier start on my sermon than last week.

    I'm preaching the same place as last week. They were a really cool congregation and really welcoming.

    I'm working on a sort of Deut/Epistle/Gospel mash-up with a little V-Day flava tossed in.

    Unconditional love: like that of a parent who reminds her children "Don't do anything stupid!" when they head out the door.

    Unconditional love: what that parent has for her kids even when they try to squeak by with a technical interpretation of the family rules "I'm not touching her mom!" (Even though the Not Touching Her ritual is making the other kid crazy.)

    We respond with what we think is our best,like when we run out of valentines and tear the last one in half so we can follow the rules to the letter. (Denominational hokey-pokey, anyone?)

    That's where my head is this morning...

  32. Good Morning Jules, sounds like you have a theme going there, hope it pours out easily...

  33. Jules- I also blew off my water aerobics to get an earlier start, so you're in good company. I love the 'not touching you' bit - my kids do that all the time. I may try to work it in.

    kzz - Thanks for the idea of the egyptian muslim/christians. I know I am going to use it somehow. Great visual and the place I am preaching has video projection, so I can show the pics.

    I am building off my beautitudes sermon I preached at this congregaiton two weeks ago and focusing on how Jesus calls us to reconcilliation and relationship. I thought 'kicking it up a notch' but I also like Songbird's bare minimum idea.

    I woke up without a way into the sermon and now I have 3! Thanks!

  34. a third of the way in... even tho' that ink is dry on those papers... i'm diving in.

    THAT being said... i'm not thrilled about it. focusing on heart health... not entirely sure where i'm headed however.

    might incorporate a story on sat no nat.geo. "amish at the altar"... they have 18 weeks of catechical instruction before the engagement can be made public. WHOA! and the service... 1 1/2 hrs of preaching!! now how many of our folks would still be gettin' married if we insited on 18 weeks of instruction? bwaa haaa

  35. There are a couple of articles posted on the WordsMatter.Episcopal blog that offer quotes and ideas for sermons...Henri Nouwen and the "Mixed Messages" by Louise Brooks...

  36. Ramona and HC -, even more ideas floating out there!

  37. I've got a running start, so I'm going to take the time to do the strength workout my Physical Therapist has asked me to do once a week. If I can remember what the instructions mean...

  38. I am going with Deuteronomy tomorrow. But today I hve no choice. I have to be at Presbytery.

    However we close the evening with a labytrinth walk. So i am thinking that comparing the Labyritnh --where there are no choices to be made once you enter...simply follow the path...and life which is more often like a maze with many choices at every turn, will be a good way to tie the things together. And I amy begin with the first few lines of Robert Frost "Two roads diverged in a yellow wood..."

  39. Gord, welcome - like your ideas

    I too am going to go workout...Songbird - hope you enjoy yours!

    I'll be back in a few hours.

  40. Well, I have a beginning, and I'm actually liking it. Which, woohoo. Lately, it seems I can't even come up with word number one until midday, so I'm hopeful that I will finish earlier than I've been finishing.

    I'm taking a break for a late breakfast and then back to it.

  41. Good morning everyone.

    I've been reflecting on our different traditions and practices as I've been reading the is Episcopal practice to read all three lessons no matter which we are preaching on, so my folks will hear all about divorce and lust and the rest. I too am loathe to talk about the divorce part (and the ink on my divorce papers is almost 15 years old) but i also sometimes worry about what we (I) leave unsaid.

    So I think I'm going to talk about relationships, using Matthew and maybe pulling in a bit of Deuteronomy, because it is a beautiful text. But I don't have a hook yet.

    It's been a relatively quiet week here---a whole week without a major weather event or anything breaking at church. Which is nice.

    And now a story about last week. I really struggled with last week's sermon because I was SO tired, and after I preached at the early service I was still kind of meh about it. As I was sitting listening to the 2nd reading I decided that I should change the beginning and use the story about the rabbi in the woods shared here last week. So I did, and the "who are you and what are you doing here" addition did help play up the theme of my sermon. But later, as I went to note in my text what I'd added (for future reference) I got the awful feeling that I'd left out the punch line of the story in my retelling of it. Which is why I should never preach without a text. Sigh.

  42. Week 3 in 1 Corinthians here. Just preaching the two parables (vv5-13). We have a big planning meeting Monday night on where we want to head as a church and the parables of workers for God's Kingdom fit beautifully. We've done the wisdom of the world and the Spirit in you the last 2 weeks; so it builds nicely. now I just need to get it written. I have the rough outline.

    ohhhh. and a children's sermon. building blocks and foundation, I think.

    DH made GF waffles for breakfast....
    You're welcome to try them. And PLENTY of earl grey tea and sermon kitties. And snow. you can definitely have the snow.

    Oh, and my divorce was a sermon illustration 2 weeks ago. talking about the context in which we see the world. went to a movie with friends, they said "what a great movie" I said "he left his wife for his mistress" Different way of seeing the same thing.

  43. got my funeral sermon done.

    I'm tempted to stay in my pajamas a little bit longer. I hardly ever have the opportunity to do that.

    I really want to workout later, after the funeral and the meeting with another famly for a funeral on Tuesday.

  44. okay friends...I'm on last week's text, and the draft is here...I'll be back late at night to rejoin the party and edit. :-)

  45. This was actually a sermon I was anxious to write to try to use some things I learned at Pastor's School last week. So, it is out there.

    Still drinking coffee - I stayed up way too late last night watching a program on tv.

  46. Thanks to the good ideas this morning, I have a rough draft - something that is unheard of for this early in the day!

    I'm going with a play on an old Baby Blues cartoon strip where the kids are playing a game of I'm not touching you. (It can be found here for anyone who wants a chuckle.) I am contrasting the legalist 'I'm not touching you' interpretation of Torah in Jeuss' - and our own - time, with the "I am touching you in love" relationships of the Trinity and the kingdom of heaven.

    Off for a shower and a bit of housework and then back to the grindstone. Maybe I'll actually have enough done that hubby and I can actually take in a movie this afternoon! Back after bit.

  47. I love "I'm not touching you." If it doesn't make the sermon it will be children's time.

    I'll be back later.

  48. I am small but mighty, and have completed the strength exercises and a 20 minute yoga/pilates melange recommended my my primary care doctor. I have proven once again that I am extremely uncoordinated, but at least at this stage of my life I have a sense of humor about it. I have to do this combo once a week, so I'm trying to think of it as being a once-weekly horse pill added to the 3 times a week workout on the elliptical followed by stretching (which I love). Go, midlife me!!!
    Now, I want lunch. Of course.

  49. Lots of good progress being made here this morning!

    I have the family service, and I'm using an idea from the Seasons of the Spirit Sunday school curriculum. I've made a chain of paper people holding hands, and I'll paraphrase the first part of the gospel, with Jesus talking to them about the behaviors--not just murder--that destroy relationships. With each one, I'll tear off a person. From there it's to what restores relationships, joining the paper people's hands back together with heart stickers. Not stunningly exciting, but I like it as a good visual way to get at the theme.

    It's heading up to 80 here today; anyone want to join me for a snack on the patio?

  50. I'm so glad that my kids' "I'm not touching you" trick is so universal and recognizable! Hee!

  51. Me, Betsy! I would love to eat outside in 80-degree weather!! I'm considering it practically summer here, because it has finally gotten *up* to about 25 degrees.

    Okay, so the mention of heart stickers reminded me of one of my favorite preacher faux pas stories. It is not for the easily offended so if that's any of you, you might want to skip it.

    So the youth group at a church had handed out heart stickers for Valentine's Day to all the senior adults in the church. The pastor, wanting to recognize the seniors, announced from the pulpit, "Would all of you who have a heart on please stand up?" And no one did. (you might need to actually say that sentence out loud to get it).

    So he asked again, and no one stood. And so he said to one man, "Oh come on Frank, stand up - you have a heart on, I can see it from here!"

    Yeah, probably an urban legend, but a hilarious one.

  52. Thanks everyone for your thoughts. I have a draft with no mention of Egypt, so that may need to get added in.

    I use Moses' and Jesus' sermon--how Jesus is expanding/re-envisioning the commandments that Moses' listeners were told to follow. And how the point of these commandments is not the rules themselves, but the relationships those rules are meant to foster. I'm afraid I've got too much going on in the sermon right now . . . we'll see.

    For children's time, I am doing the brother and sister in the backseat story--based on many car rides with my little brother. I'll tell the kids that following good rules is a good thing, but it's not enough.

  53. I did have to say it out loud, Earthchick...but what a good laugh it provided! I shall be careful in how I refer to attaching those stickers ;-)

  54. Love that story, Earthchick...just read it out loud to my husband who also cracked up.

    Trying to get started here. Thinking I'm headed somewhere with Deut and Mt, but not sure how it will all shake out. After a couple of weeks of feel-good sermons, it's hard to get back in the groove with a more challenging one. Must get cracking though as we have dinner guests tonight. Yikes.

  55. Gals and Pals, I believe I may require a little nappage. What say you?

  56. can i be ticked off that the wedding party next door are flicking their cigarette butts into my yard?! grrrr...

  57. Sermon rough draft done. time for teh nappage hear in my house. move over kitteh.

  58. SB, love the term 'nappage.' A friend of mine refers to nappage as taking a 'toes-up.' Or, when she naps with her cat - 'paws up.'

  59. Yes! Nappage! Exactly my thoughts.

    I have most of a sermon. It's long and I don't have a good ending (nor have I adequately handled a word of grace for my divorced listeners). But it's definately time to step away and rest the brain cells a bit.

  60. RevDrMom - when I preached w/o a text it was common for me to remember later all sorts of things I had left became a discipline in letting go...

    anyway, I hope you are feeling better this week and I agree about the Deuteronomy reading...

    Welcome the movie, your point is well made...

    Ramona - love that carton idea

    Welcome Chillyfingers!

    Songbird - YAY you for the workout! I agree, it is lunch time.

    Welcome Betsy, mir, and anyone else whose name my brain (at midlife) is failing to retain in the short time it takes me to scroll from the bottom to the top of the page...

  61. Okay. I have a draft. Now to move on to prayers.

  62. Whoa 63 comments and it's not 4pm yet? What a week!
    Earthchick LOL bigtime!

    I'm going with Matthew but reading Corinthians too. It will be more of a teaching sermon, but after reading Feasting, Interpreation, Clergy journal, working preacher, etc. etc., I think we all need to learn HOW to hear these saying of Jesus.

    So, a little from each and I have a plan called Black & White & Gray valentines. Now to finish writing it.

  63. Draft done, on Matthew and how the law is really about relationships with God and each other, and a small nap taken, too.

    I was going to declare this an official pajama day, but since I just remembered I have to pick the Kid up at the train station tonight, I guess I have to get dressed.

  64. I finished my sermon for tomorrow. Used a portion of Jimmy Carter's Playboy interview with his comments on lusting in his heart. What doesn't always get remembered about that interview is what he has to say about the temptation to condemn others for the their sin and the incredible power of being saved by grace.

  65. Hey Revnancy and Heidi - welcome! Curious about the black/white/gray valentines....

  66. starting over. I always do this. I just pray that movies keep my baby entertained for another hour.

  67. Hi Terri et al. For some reason my identity didn't come up. Instead you got my name. Felt a little strange.


  68. Wow - back at it after a break taking the boys to the YMCA to get a few of their wigglies out... Great ideas and stories all around. And I know it's late, but Earthchick, thanks for the laugh. A great way to get back into my writing groove.

    I've got a lot of prep but haven't quite gotten to the meat of the sermon yet. But I'm farther along than I have been on a Saturday in a while, so I'm hoping to be done well before midnight. Here's praying and hoping...

  69. :) RevJulie I'm glad you (and others) liked it. It's obviously better told aloud than in print, but y'all get it.

    I think I have a draft! Way earlier than my recent norm. I'm going to let it rest a bit and then see how it looks.

  70. Well, I've been to a book group, and I've been to the home and garden show, and, oh yeah, I ran my husband's car into the (brick) corner of the house and now I'm going to have to deal with the body shop and the insurer next week. Sigh. I am very much quite extremely finished with snow and ice.

    So I did what I could to shorten some sentences and posted it.

    I don't think I've ever tried to hit three texts before,and I don't know that I ever will again. But it did seem to me that there's a theme in there that applies to my own (mentioned only most surreptitiously) life, so who knows -- maybe someone else's as well.

  71. I promise, I have NOT been napping for hours on end. I got a call and had to go up to the hospital, but I'm back and hurrying to finish before LP gets back from her dad's house. I have about an hour, give or take, and we have a movie we want to watch tonight!

  72. my kingdom for a few transitional paragraphs!

  73. Thinking of getting on the rowing machine and watching an old epi of Designing Women.

  74. The baby seems to be boycotting naps outside of my arms and since she turns 9 months old next week I'm not fighting the issue. There won't be many more of these days and naps in our family's life, so I'm just going to love 'em when I have 'em.

    That said, I did NOT have the hoped for 2 hours this afternoon to work on my sermon. I did get out in the THAW to go pick up a cake at a bakery. While driving I was listening to news on NPR. One reporter ended her story with the idea that maybe the revolutionaries were starting to wonder where their efforts had brought them. That thought started getting me thinking about the Deu passage, the nervousness of the Hebrew people as the faced their new future in the Promised Land. Does this sound like an OK way to tie in Egypt? I won't write my whole sermon to/about it, but start with some brief comments about what's going on/what went on, draw this sort of parallel about moving forward in an exciting, but unknown future, then go on with my "choose life" sermon. The thought that both "revolutions" were to get free from Egyptian oppression is not lost on me, but I don't intend to go there since I don't want to inadvertently imply that Egyptians are always oppressors.

    On a sort of different note - how bout them protesters cleaning up after themselves today? Never in America! We'd protest for 18 days then complain that the government wasn't out there on day 19 to clean up the mess we'd made.

  75. Wish I had a way to bring in the protestors, but I've got enough threads going already.
    Could use a dinner suggestion. Have the chicken cooking (quickly) int he microwave and need a non-pasta dish for vegetarian daughter. Any ideas?

  76. Well, it is after 6:00 and I am just coming to the party. We have had our Diocesan Convention yesterday and today so I have not only worked my days off but have actually worked hard! We elected deputies to General Convention on Friday and a new bishop today.
    Alas, there is no sermon in any of that but I am going to weave choose life and MT together. How I don't know yet but I am grateful for all of you who got early starts and have given me things to think about.
    That said, I am headed for the comfy chair with a "little smackerel of something" and a novel. My brain is fried and my emotions are drained.

  77. Here's my draft. Is it too "teaching" for a Sunday morning?

  78. SheRev, I think you have a good idea from that report on NPR...and yeah, I was impressed with the protesters cleaning up...taking ownership of their land.

  79. Welcome Margaret - the news of your new Bishop-elect came over the ENS email...congratulations! I don't know him but I hope you all are pleased. Now I hope your sermonating goes easy.

  80. I've got a draft! This gives us time to eat and see our movie. Go, team!
    Team Spirit

  81. I've got a draft, but it's about 700 words too long. I just need to take a break and then come back to tighten it up, and write a few prayers. Oh- and get the sample Lenten resources I promised to bring ready.

    Still, I can take a couple of hours break and have dinner with hubby. We have plenty of gumbo if anyone is hungry!

  82. I spent too much time at the beach today. It's gone 11:30 here. but I have a sermon that takes in Moses, Paul, The Kings Speech and Egypt. I, too was encouraged by the cleaning up images in the square. Going to have a snack before bed. Hope you're not all up too late. blessings.

  83. I have to make dinner for my household - spaghetti with garlic bread and a salad of fresh baby spinach & greens...will be back later to read the latest sermon offerings...

  84. LOL mine is also Moses, Paul, The King's Speech and Egypt! (Also Jesus) But I promise I wrote it 2 days ago and am only just now going to check out yours.

  85. Oh - Liz, yours is the NEW Egypt. Mine is the very old Egypt. And otherwise we have a completely different take - thanks be.

  86. That said, Martha, could I "borrow" your team idea ina general kind of way for the children's time tomorrow? If there is a children's time. I'll tell them it came from my friend Martha. I am really going into this one cold.

    Your sermon is terrific, btw.

  87. I'm back after retreating.
    Wow, gotta get some mojo going here....I only have an intro, but I have an outline (my loose interpretation of an outline) and I want some free time tonight!!!

  88. Okay, here it is. This makes two weeks in a row, but I don't have any prospects lined up for the future, so this will have to do for a while.

  89. Robin, feel free to use whatever helps!

  90. I am back. I'm hoping my notes come together into a sermon easily because I still need to look at the confirmation lesson for tomorrow and I want to go to bed now.

    And, I need to figure out how to cut a chain of people to make that awesome children's time idea work.

  91. 8:43 est and The Boy is in bed and I am holding my breath as I look at the sermon I left behind. A cough has come into his presence and usually on an early Sunday morning they bubble up again at 1am... then 2, 3, 4, finally at 5 I quit.

    From what I've read, it sounds like things are perking along for folks. Glad to hear it.

  92. I have an ordination/installation of an elder tomorrow, but don't have access to my liturgical resources. Can someone post a prayer for ordination/installation? I'd be VERY grateful!!

  93. It's still too long, but I cut about 500 words out. I am undecided if it really needs the section on divorce, but I hate to not specifically address it.

    "I'm Not Touching You" can be read here. I'd appreciate any advice or suggestions.

    On to prayers and Lent study ideas.

  94. That's weird. I still like the sermon. Gotta say, I didn't see that coming but I am thankful. Dogs out and biscuited then to bed with me.

    Blessings upon all of you and those who are still to check in. Don't forget the Holy Spirit has your back and if you've got a dog... walk it proud!

  95. For Rev. TSB - this is from the PCUSA:

    God of Grace, pour out your Holy Spirit on Deacon A and Deacon B that they may be your faithful deacons in your church. Give them openness to the Holy Spirit’s leading that they may see and serve wherever there is need. Train them in the school of prayer that they may express the compassion of Christ for the poor and the friendless, the sick, the grieving and the troubled. God of grace, pour out your Holy Spirit on Elder A and Elder B that they may be your faithful elders in the church. Give them prudence and sound judgment, wisdom and courage to order the life of the church in obedience to your Word. Nourish them in the life of the Holy Spirit, that they may exercise the ministry of discipline with humility and compassion. Guide them in governance, on this session and in every court of the church, that they may be servant leaders following Christ who came not to be served, but to serve, and to give his life to set others free.
    Give them all joy in their walk of faith and a sure sense of your abiding presence for their work.
    In the name of your son. Amen.

  96. Hello everyone! Wow, things have been very productive today for many of us. I'm checking in late--was at a synod council meeting yesterday and today, so I have a few rough thoughts noted down, but no real sermon going yet. I just know I'm going with Matthew and how our relationships are meant to reveal the kingdom of God. Too bad--I was doing so well at finishing "early" (for me) the last few weeks.

    Love what I'm seeing here. Haven't read any of your sermons, but thinking about the Egypt images has me started. Hopefully this will be taken care of sooner rather than later.

    I'll put on a pot of tea to share with the late-nighters.

  97. Gotta love the preachers party - we stand ready to help with what ever a body needs - thanks kathrynzj for that prayer for ordination!

    I've read and commented on most of the sermons posted here - I'll aim to get to the rest of them as I am able.

  98. SemFem - you made it! welcome, welcome...and thanks for the tea.

  99. What in the world? 100 before my kids are in bed?

  100. Wow! 101 comments and it's not even 9:30pm.

    I'm going to bed ya' all. Blessings to all you late night sermonators.

  101. Just said goodnight to our dinner guests. Now where was that sermon going again? Think it's going to be a late one tonight!

  102. Hi. I'm back briefly. and wow, the party is roaring. Had a good laugh over earthchick's story.

    so far it's been:
    1. funeral
    2. meeting re: another funeral
    3. home and shoveling the thaw
    4. swimming
    5. dinner
    6. a little shopping.

    gotta do the funeral bulletin tonight since I need to give it to the secretary tomorrow after church.

    we're bummed here at our house since we thought Goodbye Mr. Chips was on. but, it's not.

    We watched, instead, a video of a bad dog who climbs over the family's fence to escape.

  103. RevDrMom - "on Matthew and how the law is really about relationships with God and each other," , me, too! Beginning with a conversation about the new "confessional" iphone app re:our concrete take on the law and segueing(?) into relationships.

    BTW these days I don't preach with a manuscript (do use notes) so there's usually something I think of that I should have put in, but I did that when I used a manuscript too!

  104. kathrnzj - thanks! PCUSA is perfect!

  105. Mir - I don't know how you manage to entertain on a Saturday night...I just can't do that.

    Welcome RevTSB...

    goodness, I think it's time for cake! the entire reasone I worked out this morning will now be fulfilled. (It's a white cake with homemade caramel icing - my grandmother's recipe)...and, I have ice cream too.

  106. Sermon is revised and final? draft printed. Thanks Songbird for the suggestion on the divorce section. I think I got the important points fitted into the rythym.

    Blessing to all who are still sermonating. And prayers for all who have early morning worship (and long drive!).

  107. Well, this is the dumbest I've been in a while, but I'm finally ready to sit down and type. And the iPad only has 30% battery left. At least that means I'll definitely have a nap here at some point! I'm sort of hoping this will write itself since I know my way in and that's usually the point of hang-up. We'll see. I'm going to try Juniper's trick of writing for a chunk with no interruptions and then taking a break. I'm going to shoot for 30 minutes.

  108. Been chewing on this all week--it's 8:45 mst and the service begins in less than 12 hours. Am focusing on "God gives the growth" as I center in on preaching a very short homily to 30 homeless people and a few house dwellers. Thinking of parents who say when they look at their adult child who has just done something amazing, "Where did that come from?" But also thinking about the work of planting seeds and watering plants through witness and love. I'm a manuscript preacher but manuscripts have not served me well in the community of hearing to which I now belong. Any pointers on the how of it????

  109. Did a bunch of reading. Whew. Made a bunch more notes. Now I think I might have someplace to go with this sermon!

    word verf: oustaken. When your mistake ousts you.

  110. Terri, did you say cake? I'm up for that!

    Vicar, the trick with the people chain is to start by folding the paper in a fan, then use a "half person" template to cut through the stack, if that makes sense.

    I decided to add to it a bit by giving everyone a cut out person as they come in, along with crayons if they want color it (which will keep the kids happy). I'll then invite them to give it as a Valentine/sign of love to someone with whom they want to make things right again. And if they choose, I'll have sunflower seeds (the planting kind) they can glue on the paper figure; the recipient can plant the whole thing as a reminder that "love grows." In my mind this all flows together; I hope it does so in the delivery too. Now I need to go cut out all those paper people; why didn't I think of this on Friday when I had access to the school's machine that cuts out shapes in a jiffy?

  111. RevAlli--could you use an actual plant or actual seeds to give some more dimension to your words? Maybe the problem is not the manuscript but the need for something concrete. (???just a thought)

    Terri, if you're sharing, I would love a piece of that cake! YUM

    word verf: nationco. Nation, Inc.

  112. Alli, if you normally preach with a manuscript and you are leaving it for this context I suggest you memorize the key points and the transitions between those points - like an outline in your head of the sermon.

    Just remember how many points you have and a descriptor for each point. The rest of it you will be able to flush out. And if you are worried about it make flash cards with the key points.

    Blessings to you.

  113. Here's a good template for paper doll chain that includes a heart.

  114. My deep appreciation for help with the paper dolls! I love the template with the hearts ... too cute and fitting!

    The sermon is done but it's too long. So I'm going to work on prayers and paper dolls and then come back to the sermon for editing.

  115. now I'm wishing I had a reason to make those paper cut out people w/hearts....sigh.

    well friends, it's been a party! I know some of you will keep on going so I'm leaving the cake out and the tea kettle on....

    Prayers for your Sunday...!

  116. Ordinarily I'd take the cake (ha ha ha), but I'm even passing up virtual cake for the one we had IRL at our house tonight. Chocolate cake topped with chocolate mousse, thin layer of raspberry then covered with whipped cream, chocolate ganache around the edge. Gorgeous.

    Minor problem, SNL just started. This could be dangerous.

  117. The prayers are printed. The paper dolls are cut out. I looked at the sermon and decided that it is just gonna be a longer one than usual.

    Now, I need to look at the stuff for confirmation tomorrow. I had almost forgotten it!

  118. SheRev - YUM! My two favorite things - chocolate and raspberry.

    Outline done; paper hearts for children's time done; bulletins done; candy for potluck in bag.

    Next - bed.
    Night, all.

  119. Well, I've got about a third of this written and a general idea of where I'm going next. My battery is down to 2% - - whoops, make that 1%. I think that means it's time for me to catch a few hours of sleep. I'm not too worried about this one for some reason. I'm definitely going to keep it shorter for communion, so I don't have much to do. (Last week was supposed to be communion, but we had to delay because I was sick.) So, I'm heading to bed, but will be back in a few hours.

  120. Everything is printed. Paper dolls & stickers ready. Confirmation good to go. Now for bed!

    Blessings on your Sunday

  121. OOPS. Glad everyone else appears to have this one well in hand. I managed to pull my usual trick of falling asleep in my chair and waking up just in time (hopefully) to actually write the sermon. Here we go...

  122. I'm back, semfem, to really see how close I am. I slept longer than I usually do and maybe longer than I should have, but hopefully this will pull together rather quickly. I guess it doesn't have much choice! Something will pull together quickly.

  123. Welcome back She-Rev! I think I just finished up with 1258 words. Hopefully I will have time to glance over it once more before I print and start getting ready for church.

    I hate that feeling of running out of time--sending the HS your way, She-Rev.

  124. Thanks semfem. The Spirit made her way here. I think I'm on the right track and will possibly even be totally done before anyone is awake. I've got 808 words so far, a good 200-300 word way out in my head, and just a bit of a connection to Matthew I'm making here in the middle, so I think I'm about done. Yippee! Prayers are going to have to be sort of off the cuff, which I don't usually do with the Great Thanksgiving. As a communion education class the kids sort of gave the pieces for it "mad-lib" style. I left their responses in my car, and I'm not going out to get them. I think I can just bring them up to the table with me with the shell of a usual prayer and make it work in the moment.

  125. Hooray She-Rev! I'm finished, after shaving a few words off here and there. Off to take a shower and get ready for the day.

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

  126. Good Morning everyone! Blessings on your day!


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