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Saturday, April 23, 2011

11th Hour Preacher Party: Betwixt and Between Edition

It's Holy Saturday. Do you know where your sermon is?

Or maybe you're preaching two.

Or the same one twice or three times.

Whatever faces you, Vigil or Sunrise, trumpets or Handel, we are here for you.

Whether the tune that makes it Easter is "Llanfair"(Yes, I'm looking at you Presbyterians) or "Easter Hymn," you're welcome here.

If you're baking a ham for 17 relatives, or planning to take your young adult children out for sushi, you have a place at this table.

If you're dying Easter eggs and filling baskets, you may sit at the Children's Table. 

(Just kidding. If you are juggling Teh Bunny with all the church stuff, God bless you.)

Whether you're preaching from John or Matthew or planning to include as many accounts as possible in some way, we want to hear about it. Join us in the comments and tell us how things are going. If you've got the best children's message ever, we *definitely* want to hear about it!!!

If you're a new friend following us over from Facebook, please be sure to leave a comment and introduce yourself. You don't have to be a blogger to participate in the Preacher Party.

I have a supply of coffee and hot cross buns for starters. We'll break out the jelly beans later. Maybe we'll find our sermons hiding somewhere behind all those lilies being arranged by faithful hands. And when the next dawn breaks, let's shout that blessed word we've been saving up, all together. 


  1. I'm one of the last to say goodnight to Good Friday, so I'll tuck that one in and welcome everyone to Holy Saturday. May our minds be clear, our words be fluent, our labors light, and our hearts joyful!

  2. I have a theme, and most of the service other than a sermon and sunrise service is prepared.

    I haven't settled on what to have for children’s talk yet, but am thinking of when we expect something, and what is there is different. One year for Christmas I was given a wrapped pomegranate, which looked like I was getting a cricket ball. It will depend on finding a good example. And as usual, I will have eggs to hand out. One year I took some dried bean pods along, and we talked about new life coming from death.

    Preaching on John with a nod to Colossians, with a working title of Easter, end or beginning? I did like someone’s example earlier in the week of a child trying to fit into their parent’s shadow, and that may get included somewhere along the way.

    Now it is time to go to the church and dress it for tomorrow. I’ll be back in an hour or two.

  3. I'll preach 3 times Sunday with 2 sermons. Well, really the sunrise one is more along the lines of a meditation/devotion type but I'm finding it just as time consuming as the "real" one.

  4. I'm up! I'm up! Fair trade coffee will be ready momentarily. Please let my throat be just complaining about the damp weather and nothing more serious...
    Betsy and Vicar, I hope you got some sleep.
    Pearl, I wish I had a better sense of your time, let us know when Easter arrives by sending us an Al--well, you know.

  5. Good morning. We have the same service 3 times in a row tomorrow and I'm preaching all of them. I am hoping to shift the illustrations around for the last two at least so that the choir and others on hand get a different listen.

    I have the outline of a sermon that I think has potential, so that is good. The Boy returns home @12:30 when we will commence with Operation Easter Basket so this morning is my time to write.

    It is also my time to get drenched as once again I walk the dogs in a torrential rain storm.

    Praying for those in the midwest and also here who have not recovered from the damage inflicted from the last batch of storms.

    Also, mmmmm.... hot cross buns....

  6. Good morning, kzj! So sorry it's raining there...again. Haven't your dogs learned to swim yet? It's quite aerobic. :-)

    The rain is coming here later; supposed to clear off for tomorrow, but it may still be overcast for the sunrise service. At least that early start holds the promise of a fine breakfast back at the church, complete with eggs from chickens owned by church members. The breakfast team will be over at church today making preparations, as will the flower committee. I'll be working here at home and later encouraging my college boy, who arrived last night, to get out there and apply for summer jobs.

  7. No rain here and I pray it stays that way.
    I went to bed wondering if the Deacon has the makings of the new fire or if I need to add that to my list. My usual egg hunt folks are out of town so that's on my morning list of things to do.
    Still no sermon. We are doing John so I'm leaning toward something about gardens old and new. It will be short since there is a baptism. And I do the same sermon at both services, sort of. Without notes, one never really knows!
    I'm baking sticky buns, monkey bread and an amaretto sour cream cake today so stop in for a bite. There's no coffe but plenty of tea, with or without caffeine, especially the throat soother kind for those of us hoping to have enough voice to chant tomorrow.

  8. Margaret, welcome! That tea may come in handy.
    I've used fire at the Sunrise service in the past, but decided not to make things more complicated this year, since I'm new.

  9. I think all is finished for tomorrow, which is good. it means being in bed a little earlier than most Saturday nights, so hopefully not so tired when the alarm goes off a few hours earlier than normal. Sunrise, no sermon, having some people read reflections by Peter, John and Mary based on the John reading [that came with our Sunday School material: ROOTS]


  10. Songbird, here is is 9.36 pm Saturday evening.

    I will get to log in and say hi, after the sunrise service.

  11. Can I wish Pearl Downunder a "Happy Easter?" (Seems it must be just about that time for her!

    Regarding rain and dogs - I think we have had an hour of sun in the last month, and so much rain we are living in swamp-land....I think it's the new norm. (And, no I don't live in the Pacific NW)...

    Songbird, I hope your scritchy throat is just allergy/rain related!

    I am not preaching tomorrow, but will continue to unpack, organize, and settle into my new residence...first Sunday preaching is May 8.

    Holding each of you in prayer as you move through this busy season!

  12. the coffee is perking. it's 7:20 am and i've got nothing for the 3 services tomorrow... well ok, bulletins & liturgy completed days ago...but THE sermon.... augh... nothing is striking me. how sad is that???

    rain later here.
    headache on.
    need coffee ASAP
    praying THE ideas come ASAP too!

  13. Good rainy morning!

    (Passing my cup for some of that Fair Trade coffee ... thank you!)

    Today, I will go to a once a year ham and dandelion birthday dinner (at noon) for a friend's father and they live about an hour away. I just couldn't say no to that. As a single empty-nester, with family scattered all over the country, a great family table gathering is a rare and precious thing.

    I still need to write the sermon; I will be using John's gospel. I do hope that some will respond to Songbird's plea to offer some good Children's sermon ideas. Otherwise, I'm going with butterfly stickers and using 2 Corinthians about us being new creations in Christ. Help me do better than that!

    Check you later!

  14. So reassuring to know I'm in good, no GREAT company this morning.
    Must shower soon & go see if the egg hunt is on in this drizzly weather. Late Easter is supposed to solve the cold, rainy, egg-hunt thing, right?

    Sermon outline only. I so planned to have it further along by now...ah well, here we sit, laptop, coffee and cereal in hand.

  15. Sharon, I'm going to adapt what I did last year, since I'm in a new place. I'm reading a story about the women going to the tomb that features colors. All the children get colored construction paper, and when you get to their color, they wave it. In my previous church, we gave yellow paper to the choir, so when the sun came up, due to their positioning, everyone saw it and there was great delight. I decided if I ever did it again, I would pre-place the colors around the sanctuary for all ages to use. I will definitely repeat the choir as sun motif, since this choir is also strategically placed. I've got the script; if anyone wants it, just email me at
    Hot Cup, I hear you. I've spent the past half hour looking for a story I saw on TV right after the earthquake/tsunami in Japan, with no luck. I think I'll just have to wing the story as remembered.

  16. RevNancy, that doesn't sound like much fun.

  17. Grr! Lost my first comment!

    I have one huge service, my first as the senior (and sole) pastor at a church where I was the associate for 12 years. I'm going to continue the arc of discipleship that I followed with the John stories all through Lent, and will focus on reactions to the Resurrection by disciples then and now: fear, not recognizing Jesus, amazement...and the way God takes what we think we know and flips it to reveal what truly is.

    Meanwhile on the home front it's errands, cooking and adult daughters arriving this evening to color Easter Eggs. The phone calls have been going all week: "You won't color them without us, will you?" Even when they were attitudinal teenagers who fought us at every step (we are past that now, thanks be to God) they always wanted to color eggs. God is good!

    One way or another the sun will come up on Easter morning, and we will find that no matter what we have done or left undone, God is ready for us, and like Mary, we will be ready to tell what we have seen and heard!

  18. I decided to stay up as late as it took on Wednesday night to write my Easter sermon. Without the pressure of the deadline it took until 3:30 am, but it made for a tired Thursday, not a a grumpy Easter and somewhat stressful Saturday. I haven't le myself look at it again yet, since I'm afraid I'll hate it and scrap it. I've already thought of at least one tweak I'll make, but hopefully it doesn't turn into a total rewrite. It's probably not my favorite, but it's a little shorter than usual (a good thing) and it's done ( a great thing). We've been invited to a BBQ at a church family's house tonight which I'm really excited about, so it's nice to have little to think about while I'm there.

    Early service (NOT sunrise) has no sermon, but I'll to a telling, not scripture reading of whole story, palms to empty tomb, while leading kids in "illustrating" it with drum sound effects. This is a compltely new thing I'm making up (or at least something I haven't witnessed or seen described) and we're using brand new drum. Circle drums we've been dying to buy. Got them this week with this as our excuse. Now we get to start a kids' drum circle ministry/group!

    Lots to do with kids today, dye eggs, community egg hunt, library... Busy day!

    Oh yeah, here's my sermon. Comments welcome and appreciated!

  19. Good morning - I will be doing some baking today for Easter. I've been enjoying Easter lunch with the same church family since I began ministry at my church. Thankfully, my sermon is just about done for tomorrow - I'd really like to get some rest today and is it possible I could make it into my hammock for the first time in 2011???

  20. hammock? oh chilly fingers... i'm green with envy.

    is that a color songbird in the story?

    whew... i've got a "hook", an "intro"... see the coffee's working already!

  21. I suspect my kids and I will be eating Easter sushi, as suggested in the post here. I wish someone would invite us over!
    Mary B, welcome! How sweet that they want to color eggs with you!
    Chilly, a hammock sounds delightful.

  22. Blessings on all who are preaching and leading worship tomorrow! I've got about 500 eggs stuffed for the Easter egg hunt after worship....and am collecting ideas for children's time. I'll be emailing you, SB....butterfly stickers, Sharon, sound promising, too. I got nuthin...and it's all I have o do tomorrow!

    Hunting for my mug so I can some of whoever has coffee...and that monkey bread sounds delish!

  23. Good Morning all! A blessed Saturday vigil-keeping day to you all.

    Two words:

    Snow Fall.

    This is clearly payback for thinking our outdoor sunrise service would be lovely and warm this year (for once!). HA! Make plans and God laughs, right?

    I also have a graveside service this morning, but I'm more worried about the surviving spouse (who is very elderly) than I am about the weather. I really hope she will be okay. They were together for 72 years. I can't imagine what this day will be like for her. Please pray.

    Easter services: no sermon @ sunrise (TBTG).

    Sermon ready for later service. I'm starting with a video by Five for Fighting called "The Riddle" - it's really good. It's about a boy asking his dad about the Mysteries of life.

    If ever a story brought up the Big Questions it is this weekend's phenomenal move from Maundy Thursday's servanthood to the Cross and ultimately to the glory of Easter morning.

    Part of the chorus of the song is:

    "Here's a Riddle for you.
    Find the Answer,
    There's a Reason for the World,
    You and I....

    ....I'll Love you Free...
    I'll Love you Freely...

    etc etc...

    In the midst of Mystery and confusion, and in all of life, death and life beyond death - God will, always has, and always will, Love us Free, Love us Freely...

    And the Reason for the world? - for you and I to let ourselves be embraced in that love and share it. That's about as close as we get to the Mystery on this side of glory.

    I'd better get down to the lobby to wait for the limo (it's the funeral home - I just wanted to say "wait for the limo") Heh.

  24. Glad to be in the company of the Gals and Pals this morning. Hubby is preaching and I am hunting for a children's sermon - I see some of you are as well.

    Here's what I've found so far:

    E - End
    A - Arrest
    S - Sacrifice/Sad
    T - Tomb
    E - Empty
    R - Resurrection

    Hide eggs with letter on outside, word on inside. Guide for telling the story.


    "Resurrection Candle" light candle - like at Christmas...light of the world. Recall Palm Sunday & Passion...putting the candle out. Resurrection - back to life, candle springs back. (May have been a trick birthday here: )

    I'll keep mining the internet!

  25. Thank you all for the inspiration - and the hot cross buns. Yum!

    I am presiding at noon for Holy Saturday, singing the Exsultet at the parish Easter Vigil at 8pm, presiding at the convent vigil at 4:30AM (the most wonderful service of the year - I hope to be awake for it!), preaching at church at 10AM, and somehow participating at the noon service in Spanish. Oh, yes, and I have sacristy duties in both places. (-:

    So I'm busy, like the rest of you.

    I am hoping my sermon will be about God bringing life out of death - all the deaths we experience, the dead places in ourselves and our lives - physical, spiritual, emotional, relationships, you name it. And I'd like to talk about their being no Good Friday without Easter (as well as the reverse; some people focus on one to the exclusion of the other, and neither really works).

    I'd love to hear your examples and thoughts on this as I work!

    Blessings, all of you!

  26. Good morning pals,

    My kitteh is trying to help me study my sermon by sitting on my commentaries as I read them. He is especially taken with my gospel parallels.

    I'll be preaching on Matthew's account this Easter. Inspired by Songbirds blog on the women in the Easter stories (thanks SB) I am going to explore why it was the women who first heard and proclaimed the Risen Jesus. I found an interesting account from the Gospel of Peter that explains why the women came to the tomb. As the verse goes to do "the things that women usually do to their loved ones when they die" (Peter 8:50b).

  27. a pearl down under - what wonderful thoughts in your resurrection sermon! Thank you for sharing them.

  28. a pearl downunder - thank you for your sermon..I appreciated it.

  29. Easter sermon is too long and relies to heavily on the paper my colleague wrote for a lectionary group we are in together. On the one hand, that is what the group is for - on the other hand, it's Easter and feel I should do better than that.

    Still, I'm happy with my current scenario, not 10 yet est and I just need to cut... and find my own words. :)

  30. Good morning all. Thursday proved to be a good day as the sermon is mostly done (Matthew) so I am hoping for a relaxed Saturday. I'll finish the sermon and make a dessert for Easter tomorrow at a parishoner's home.

    Blessings to all of you..

  31. It's cold and rainy here, and I am not feeling the joy just yet. Rain means I have to figure out a way to have the "new fire" for the Vigil inside. I also have two sermons to write on Matthew--one for the Vigil and one for tomorrow.

    As I speak the church is being decorated by the altar guild ladies. I am very grateful for the volunteers who made sure it was clean since we have no sexton at present. (If you were reading earlier this week you might recall that I had to terminate him on Monday). This is especially noteworthy in a place where volunteers to do anything are hard to come by, and I didn't even have to ask for these, they just materialized.

    I have a start on one sermon, but I think it will be tomorrow's so I need to get crackin' as my mother would say.

    Five baptisms tomorrow, too. I've never done baptisms on Easter Sunday before (the Vigil is a better time, but these families didn't like that option) so we'll see how that goes.

  32. wow, I finally dragged myself out of bed and all of you have already been so industrious!

    My colleague has graciously offered to do "everything except the children's time" after my marathon of outside-the-box-which-always-means-more-work worship experiences and youth events the past several weeks. So tomorrow morning I'll be the liturgist (yay, I get to read Scripture for once! woohoo!), I'll do the children's time, I'll break bread at the table, and I'll stand there to serve...and that's it. Otherwise my job is just to look cute. I hope I can pull that off with how tired and blah I'm feeling right now...maybe if I daydream about heading off to SoCal immediately after worship (4 services, only 2 the same!)... It's been cold and disgusting here (snow, rain, clouds, ick)--there was a rumor that today would be 60 and sunny but so far no sun has appeared. In Long Beach it's going to be a sunny 80 degrees next week. CanNOT wait!

    So today I'm cleaning my house, preparing to be gone for a week...and I'm available to order in any food y'all might need! I can get Thai, Chinese, Pizza, sandwiches, or almost anything else you want delivered. :-)

  33. Welcome, Teri and RDM and Sarah and Purple and G_G and Bethany and Sue and revsue!!!
    Dear church members came over to help remove a tree house that my new homeowner's insurance required be removed. We've been out in the rain accomplishing that task. Now I'm back on task.
    More coffee, anyone?

  34. Coffee's on, it's "2/3 caf" so I hope that's strong enough for you. Re-vamping, "recycling" an Easter sermon from a couple of years back, with some help from John Updike, "Seven Stanzas".
    Makings are out on the counter for smoked salmon mousse, my contribution to the post-Vigil feast, which is happening in St. Entirely Other, next step is to put on outdoor raiment and fetch in a bundle of firewood, accumulate some tinder, possibly including kerosene...for the 'new fire'.
    And, while I'm at it, clean out poor Harriet-the-Echo to accommodate parish folks who don't want to drive to Entirely Other this evening.
    Family coming tomorrow evening, more family coming Monday evening, I have a poor "paraplegic" utility-grade turkey thawing (one drumstick missing).
    we can do this, gals, yes we can.

  35. Hello, CR!
    I have at least half a sermon, now taking a break for a grocery run. I'll be back!

  36. Sarah SSM, *I* am busy. You are running a marathon and I would never do that! May the angels tend you this day and tomorrow.

    Okay, morning service is over, eggs are ready for the hunt, the lawn is mowed and I have started doing some reading. I may just retell the story with a few asides, painting it in today's colors.

    But first, I think it's time to get the baking done before the day gets warmer. I'm sorry to hear some of you are having gloom and even snow. We have managed to avoid the rain and actually have blue skies. Still, who knows what tomorrow will be like??

    Word verf is etrampr. Virtual hiking is my kind!

  37. OK try again. I just lost the last message. Oh well, at least it is not raining here.

    Sharon, since you have the butterly stickers, do USE THEM. But instead of talking about new life which is not very exciting for children to whom all of life is new everyday, talk about the surprise that a butterfly comes from a caterpillar. If you can find a caterpillar, or even an earthworm, display it and talk about it. Then describe that a butterfly can come from something like that. Connect to the surprise that Jesus who was so very dead on Friday was suddenly alive again on Easter. Put a sticker on the back of each child's had saying, "Surprise! Happy Easter!"

    And if any of you are searching for other ideas for the children, come visit me at .

  38. Still trimming a sermon that is too long down. Yes, there are worse things, I know.

    Taking a break from it to shower and then The Boy should be home so we can follow the clue trail and find what the Easter Bunny left for him!

    We don't dye Easter eggs. We just don't. I am trying to be okay with that.

    Teri, glad you get to rest today and worship tomorrow - even if it is 4x.

  39. will it work?

    that's my question about this easter sermon. comments and feedback welcome... *sigh*

  40. Good Morning all!

    I've completed the first order of the day, which involves latte, and now am sitting down to do the final planning and (possible rewrite) of my sermon. I'm using the "Crazy the Lord" theme that (I think it was Teri) brought up earlier in the week. To believe that one could overcome the powers of evil and death by love...How crazy is that?

    For those of you who are struggling with inclement weather, here is a hint about how to have a safe, clean indoor fire. Simply fill a large shallow fireproof bowl with cotton balls, pour in some rubbing alcohol and add fire. It burns clean with a lovely blue flame (don't want to set off the fire alarms!) and goes out quite quickly. I keep the lid of a large wok nearby to smother it when we're done.

    Vigilating here tonight, baptisms tomorrow (including my youngest granddaughter, supper at lovely eldest daughters, then funeral planning on Monday. I CAN DO THIS!

  41. Aren't hammocks the greatest? I got one last year and it did more for my mental health through the spring, summer, and fall than almost anything I can imagine. I even took a picture with my phone of the view from it so that I could mentally go back there when I'm not in it :-)

    I have an easy children's sermon with balloons in a large box; each balloon has written on it a phrase expressing people's expectations of the Messiah, like "solve problems," "fight with might," "born in palace," and "die with dignity." As I took out and read each one, I talked about how Jesus was different and popped the balloon. Last one was "stay dead" and there are still people who remember that one! If anyone wants an outline, let me know here and I'll send it along.

    Off to the parish work day and to finish (I hope) my sermon on a computer that doesn't keep dying every 5 minutes...

  42. Children's Message Idea 1-
    -if you have an alcove- to use as a tomb-stash linen wrappings- then take the kids on a trip to the tomb, telling the story as you go and "discovering" the linen wrappings- (great if you have a traveling mic so the congregaion can witness- but turn it off)
    -tell the kids about the direction to go and tell with joy the good news and have them be the witnesses-

  43. Wow! You gals have been partying-hearty already and it's only midday! (at least where I am)

    I slept in today (as in FOR REAL slept in - I got up at 9:30!). The entire house was up before me, which is opposite of every other day. Between four services and two hours of errands yesterday, I fell asleep knitting last night, so the long sleep was much-needed and much-appreciated. The downside to getting up late? Not getting to enjoy my cup of coffee in anything approaching silence.

    My only worship responsibilities tomorrow are as liturgist, which means my only real prep is announcements and prayer. I feel bad saying that when so many of you are slaving over sermons (including my poor husband).

    But my day is stressful in other ways - I've got the beginnings of a bunny cake baking in the oven and boiled eggs cooling in the fridge to be dyed soon. Today, in addition to dying eggs and making the bunny cake, I'll be assembling a fruit salad and three casseroles (broccoli, corn, and pineapple), making deviled eggs, cleaning the house, washing the boys' hair, putting together Easter baskets, and trying to figure out how to get the ham ready in time for lunch tomorrow since I'll be at church when it should be in the oven. If anyone has tips on bending the time-space continuum, I'm all ears!

  44. Children's message idea 2-
    -Hokey Children's message idea-
    One year in an attempt to cross over from eggs to empty tomb,
    I used the dyed eggs to tell the story, each color was a reminder of something. I think I picked up each egg every time I retold that part of the growing story-ie:

    -yellow egg, reminds me of the sun-that it was early in the morning,
    -pink egg, reminds me of the women (yes, I know)who went early in the morning
    -the grey egg- reminds me of the tomb that the women went to early in the morning
    -the white egg- reminds me of the linen cloths (or angles) the women found when they discovered that the tomb was empty when the women went, early in the morning

    I then gave kids a plastic egg (empty) to remember the story and the good news that the tomb was empty- Christ had risen (he had risen indeed) ---of course I had candy on hand as it was tradition to give them a sweet treat to remember the sweet news of the resurrection!

    -if you want to go back to in
    clude the crucifixion, you can add a black egg- for the darkness
    red egg- for the blood/ sacrifice
    brown egg- for the cross

    -or use a red egg to tell the wonderful story of Mary Magdalene and the red egg

  45. Vigil sermon is done...not directly on Matthew after all, making writing tomorrow's a bit easier!

    Almost there, almost there, almost there...

  46. Lady Father, THANK YOU for the fire have saved me a great deal of grief today!

    I love this place!

  47. Can I be both sad and relieved that I have no family at all here this Easter.

    I do miss dyeing eggs...

  48. Wow--that coffee must be doing its work! You gals are busy, busy, busy. And productive! What good company. Some in snow, some in rain--wish you could send some of that moisture to the southwest! Drought just gets worse and worse.

    As I walked to my study this morning, I was wondering how on earth I would ever preach an Easter homily in the congregation of homeless I now serve--then it came to me: the people I serve live the hope of Easter every day!

    Now how to translate that to a homily that will speak to the people I serve. Thinking that Easter is not a one-time-only event. It comes all the time. The challenge for me is translating that to a language that will speak to people who live on the streets and people who come because conventional church has not spoken to them.

    Does anyone know how eggs became associated with Easter?

  49. At some point earlier this morning, I got up and took sinus meds and went back to bed to try to ease the headache that woke me in the first place. I'm sure the lilies will add to that tomorrow & I'm thankful for options that don't put me to sleep!

    Lady Father - What a great fire idea!

    Carolyn - I'm having a bit of a virtual "There's a rockstar!" moment here. I've used "Forbid them Not" since the first edition & then bought the revised ones too! Over the years, your suggestions brought life to some little country churches as I adapted ideas for worship so *I* wouldn't be as bored! Thank you so much for helping me in worship ministry!

    My girls and I have been invited to the Episcopal vigil. We've never been to one so I need to finish in time for that. As much of a RevNightOwl as I am, I can't finish afterward!

    After reading Feasting on the Word, I may preach Colossians or Romans for the sunrise but we will add those to the Matthew reading. We'll see how things unfold in the next few hours.

  50. so many great Children's ideas! another one for what its worth- using a theme of things are not always what they look like or seem to be ...last few years I have used mexican confetti eggs - coscorones I think they are called - - bright colored real egg shells filled with confetti - I get 2 young volunteers willing to let me break them over their heads- they are expecting the worst but get showerd with confetti instead. I bring enough to have a egg party on the front lawn after church

  51. Hi revgalpals. Already past 6pm here in Scotland. I've been playing all day after a hectic week. Went to an Easter egg trail in cold and rain and by the time we'd finished the trail (and claimed our chocolate!) the sun was out and we had a lovely picnic. I'm excited about releasing the Alleluias tomorrow. We have a baptism and I've persuaded the choir to do a flashmob version of Thine be the glory - so should all be fun. All that, and a message for the children on :Do not be afraid, and we're done.Oh, and we also share family communion so no sermon needed - hurrah.
    For those still looking for ideas, I once hid clues to the story inside plastic eggs - nails, a cross, silver coins, linen wraps etc and retold story - also an empty egg for the tomb.
    Just about to eat with friends - such luxury on a Saturday night!

  52. ooh, Betsy, I love the balloon idea! I may tuck that away for another year. can you send the "instructions" my way? tericarol21 at yahoo dot com. thanks!

    Celeste, I also love the confetti eggs...I would have to save that for the last (of the 4) services though b/c there's no time to vacuum in between services and I think the growing pile of confetti would probably give something away...LOL.

    Since we did the whole Alleluia-box thing (packed away Alleluias on Ash Wednesday, will release them tomorrow morning) I have a pretty fantastic, if very involved, plan for children tomorrow. The choir and the worship enhancement (decorating) team are all's going to be fantastic. :-)

    Thanks to someone on twitter, I remembered that if I'm going to leave tomorrow I have to pack today, which means doing laundry. sigh. Next year will someone remind me to take vacation the SECOND week after easter, so I don't feel so insane during holy week?

  53. on the sermon front- no words yet after the longest week... a title of "Do not be afraid" using Matthew this year- struck by that phrase from the angel and Jesus.

    A week ago, 2 of our 8th grade girls committed suicide together... I understand it has been in the national news with a theme of bullying... as always- it is more complicated... the whole community is in overwhelming pain, grief and fear... we are aware of so many fragile lives - the team has been working at least 15 hour days all week using everything we have to identify and protect those at risk. Lord, in your mercy... Please keep our community in your prayers... we are still in high risk.

    Very grateful to all of you who have been praying for us- when I do one-on-one check ins with kids - I tell them I have friends all over the world praying for them - and they are surprised and delighted. For some, it is the first smile I have seen all week...

  54. Celeste, we will pray for your community! and for those of you trying to hold things together.

    Ok, I did the egg hunt thing, and delivered our dancers to home, and got groceries, and went back to sweep & mop the grass and mud from church floor. (It bugs me what our congregation doesn't see. We have 2 other congregations using the building and the room we are so careless about is their worship space. grrrr

    Now, can I memorize MT 28:1-10 and finish the sermon?
    Love the children's ideas. I'm doing something with chicks but dunno just what yet.

  55. Hello to everyone who arrived while I was out! I took my son to apply for summer jobs, bought a new case for my iPhone and came back to meet the friends helping remove our tree house. Apparently we disturbed a skunk who lived under the tree, because a neighbor warned me not to let the dog out, in case the skunk was rabid! I thought we had groundhogs...
    Now back to the sermon, complete with earthquakes and walking dead. Let's hope it ends up somewhere on the way to Galilee.

  56. oh Celeste... crappity crap crap. My sermon focuses on those words too "do not be afraid." i posted a link to it earlier...feel free to "borrow" use adapt whatever is helpful... you've had some week.


  57. Woo hoo, Rough draft finished. It's short and sweet, hopefully I was able to get my point across concisely per my choir directors request. He has the choir singing two long anthems and has informed me that I need to keep the rest of the service short. Thank god I'm only the interim.

  58. Celeste, I've been following the story and assumed there must be more than we are hearing. Continuing to pray for you and the young people in your community.
    Son and I picked up a cake at Whole Foods, a big Easter Egg! Who wants a piece?

  59. Lots of pressure to write this sermon as one child is sleeping and the other out with her daddy. I've got notes every which way and not until yesterday did I realize that I was preaching Psalm 118. New for me.

    And I just now came up with the children's sermon--a link between the empty tomb and empty bowl...asking God to fill us...

  60. Celeste, my heart aches for your community. Please know that indeed you are in my thoughts and prayers. Love,

  61. Ooh, Songbird, I would love a bit of Easter egg cake!

    Celeste, thinking of you and holding you and your congregation and community in prayer. What a tragedy. I am so sorry for what y'all are dealing with.

    I have two casseroles assembled (well, still need to make the cracker crumb topping for the broccoli one). Need to make the other casserole, the deviled eggs, and the frosting for the bunny cake, plus get the cake assembled, frosted, and decorated. I need to help the boys dye eggs, and at some point I hope to go for a run (and write a prayer!).

    My ham is a spiral sliced ham, fully cooked. Ham is good cold or at room temp, right? I'm thinking of not worrying about heating it up, since I can only do that if I have my MIL and her friend over much later than I'd like. I'm hoping for an early afternoon meal so people can get out of her and let us rest by mid-afternoon!

  62. Peanut butter cookies w/ Recesses Pieces for all who are in need.
    Blessings to those who write sermons on this day.
    Blessings to those who have egg hunts, dinners to prepare, and visits to make along with final Easter prep.
    Much love to my RGBPs!!!
    1-4 G

  63. Wow, things are hopping around here.

    Celeste, many prayers for you and for your community. oh--and the confetti eggs are called cascarones.

    I'm preaching from the Matthew text, on the mixture of fear and joy that the women felt...and how that accompanies us as we go to tell the good news. Hm. Sounds better just then than it does in teh sermon so far. Still needs work.

    Family, of the mostly-helpful variety, in town for the weekend. Both kids are asleep, and I'm about to join them. THe company disrupted our usual sleeping arrangements, which disrupted our sleep last night. Hopefully tonight will be better, or we'll be holding an Easter Vigil of our own.

    All of you who have extra rain can please send some our way. Dry, getting drier, and more fires.

  64. In record time I have finished TWO sermons today. TBTG. I will have to read over tomorrow's when I get home tonight and make sure it works, but at least something is written. It's on the short side, but with five baptisms at the second service, that's probably a good thing, right?

    Now off to shower and get ready for the Vigil.

  65. The sermon "Interruptions" is done.

    The kids will find the sermon...all over the sanctuary in plastic eggs..and then we will read it. The older ones helping the ones who cannot read yet.

    Celeste you and your community are in my prayers.

  66. I am going to have to brave the grocery store in order to have all the ingredients for the simple casserole that the Entertainer loves. It is our (not required) contribution to the Easter meal to which we have been invited.

    I'll be back in a bit.

  67. Just getting started...but not quite the 11th hour yet for my seminary sermon due on Tuesday. Preaching on John 12- when Jesus predicts his death. Kind of awkward to begin writing after Good Friday Tenebrae last night...Jesus is still in the tomb for me!

  68. Hi All!
    Had rehearsals for the next four services at church this morning, so I'm just settling in to review my notes for the Vigil sermon tonight. Also ready to sing the exsultet I think - more nervous about the singing than the preaching. I had a great quote for MT that I left out *sigh* - will file it away: "May we have the grace to be able to keep the new commandment and grace for when we fail."
    Three services tomorrow but I am the extra set of hands at those so once I finish this sermon I'm hoping for a holy nap. I have 4 hours before I need to leave home.
    Celeste - You and the community have been in my prayers all week - a smile would be an answer to some of those prayers.

    Anyone else going to the EPiscopal Church Buliding Fund symposium in Salt Lake City next week? Email me at amy_david_75077 at yahoo dot com

  69. btw - easy ham recipe -
    cut peeled large sweet potatoes lengthwise in qurters to form a rack on the bpttom of the crock pot (2-3 depending on size), placed ham on top, pour maple syrup over it all (1 cup or so) and cook in crock pot for 6-8 hours on low. Yummy and easy! (with a side dish built-in)

  70. How is everyone? I need to read back a few comments. I've got the # of words I want, now if I was only happy with them...

  71. I have now reached the breakdown portion of the program, in which I wish someone were singing a cantata, or playing Messiah on glass harmonica, because I have written 2/3s of a sermon so explain-y that it sucks all the new life out of Easter. Halp!!!

  72. Stick a fork in this Easter sermon because it is

  73. Hi everyone,

    Well, it's 1 here, and so far I feel much more relaxed than any pastor on Holy Saturday has a right to be. But, I think that's because my cell phone is lost somewhere and I cant hear it - wherever it is, it's probably rigning and ringing and ringing.

    Reading all comments - praying with those coping with tragedies, including snow on Easter.

    Have most of a sermon. But need to go to church soon and get everything set up for childrens time, which is already too complicated to explain, which is probably a problem.

    I have to go to the grocery store, soon, too. I was going to have lamb tomorrow, but wow that ham recipe sounds yummy.... Today, deviled eggs.

  74. Coming late to the party after taking advantage of good weather and breeze(!) to do some yard work. My condolences to those of you enduring rain!

    Lovely thoughts shared thus far--thanks to you all for your thoughts and quandaries!

    Preliminary thoughts for me, using Matthew: 1) using the earthquake to refer to the discovery of the empty tomb as an "aftershock." Still need to develop that idea, but I think it has potential.
    2) new life from death isn't something that just happens. When an ending comes our way our grief over what was can crack us open to see the possibilities of what can be (sort of a crisis/opportunity corollary). A la Kushner, the question isn't "why did this happen?" but rather, "now that this has happened, how can it be redeemed?"

    I also want to do something with "go and tell," but don't know yet if that desire will morph into something.

  75. Elastigirl, thanks for the ham idea; I won't be cooking tomorrow, but I love using my crockpot anytime.

    Earthchick, I often prefer ham room temp; so often it dries out when heated.

    Celeste, continuing prayers for the light of Christ to shine in the darkness of your community's pain.

    SIL has us over for Easter each year, which is a wonderful gift. Tomorrow is her birthday, and she's still doing it, but we have agreed to bring dessert. Hooray for her desire to have strawberries, chocolate ice cream, and cool whip :-)

    I worked on the sermon at church, in between prepping for the Vigil and helping clean in the church; it's mostly done. Good thing, as my laptop is dead and I'm borrowing my son's now. I keep thinking that a new power supply and battery for a Mac is almost half the cost of the iPad I covet...

  76. Well here I am now feeling the joy of resurrection. I've read, prayed, Led and preached to an Easter family service, cried, pondered and now rejoiced. All blogged in some form or another on
    Off to bed now so can awake at 5am to great the Dawn. Happy Easter one and all

  77. This comment has been removed by the author.

  78. sermon done - the ham recipe is a great weeknight dinner - I use it often! logging in again bc I forgot to enable the emailed comments - love that and thanks to Vicar for turning me on to it!!

  79. Found new inspiration for both the sermon and children's sermon...I'm talking about the empty tomb and what is left there with death and then what Christ brings to us in leaving it. I'll have the children make an empty bowl when we take out grief and addiction and such and then fill it with what God gives us to overflowing: forgiveness, joy, hope... It all came from the Matthew text on fear and joy.

    Blessings to all of you on good sleep and plenty of energy tomorrow.

  80. I have a much beloved member dying yesterday and today and probably tomorrow too. Missed last night's big cantata service after handing over my notes to my husband - so I could sit at the hospital. So hard to concentrate on tomorrow's sermon - could use a resurrection sermon myself.

  81. Christ is Risen!
    he is risen indeed Alleluia!

    Morning Revgals, 7.30 am and home for breakfast in between services.

    be back later to read your comments.

    hot, fresh from baker, hot cross buns for anyone who wants one.

  82. The afternoon got more interesting when my knee decided not to bend all the way, making it impossible to walk. Naturally, the timer had just gone off on tomorrow's dinner dessert. Thankfully, time and heat and ibuprofen have got things under control. I sense a visit with an orthopod in the near future.

    I am going with John tomorrow and talking about how we want to rush everything, know everything instantly and don't want to wait for anything at all. But that's not how the story plays out. We have to wait for Mary to discover the stone rolled away, for the disciples to come and see the tomb empty, for Mary to return weeping and, finally, for Jesus - the good shepherd - to call her by name. Only then do we *know* that Jesus is resurrected.

    Sticky buns, monkey bread are all done and cooling before I wrap them up to take over to church. I am helping a friend with his Vigil service tonight. Not sure what I'm doing other than censing the altar - my high church godson will love hearing about that and I hope I can manage to get in 33 swings!

    Blessings to all of you still writing/pondering.

  83. Okay, I lost a long post so here's the short version.

    I could use your help. I'm preaching on God's power of resurrection in our lives in the here and now as well as the hereafter. I have one example of a friend who suffered sexual abuse as a child, but also experienced healing. While scarred, she has a full and fulfilled life.

    I'm with Songbird - 2/3 done and too explainy. So if you could help me with any illustrations for folks who have found new life after spirit killing situations, I would appreciate it.

    I'm late to the party because we had a Community Egg Hunt & Festival at our little church this morning. It was great and a great reaching out by folks who had been inwardly focused for a while. Now I've had a nap... but I must finish this sermon.

    Prayers for all of us still seeking the words to say the message we bear.

    Paltry offerings in my pantry today, but I do have fresh sweet tea and some lemon if you'd like.

  84. Anonymous, prayers ascending!

    Celeste, for you and your community continued prayers... it appears just as the world doesn't stop for tragedy nor does it stop for Easter and yet... and yet...

    Hanging out with The Boy since 12:30, getting a few piddly tasks done around the house because I have a FULL schedule until vacation takes effect early Wednesday morning.

    Sermon still needs to be edited down, have some ideas about that but now is not the time.

  85. Vigil in 30 minutes! The one good thing about the rain is that it will be darker than otherwise.

    I tested the cotton ball/alcohol fire and it is teh awesome! Thanks again for the suggestion.

    The Holy Spirit has our back...Alleluia, alleluia!

  86. m-l r, there's hope. I promise. I have a draft, going to stop for dinner with my kids and a viewing of Jesus Christ Superstar (2000), but I'll be back to check in here and will eventually blog my sermon, I guess.

  87. A poem for any who wish it on Matthew- fear and great joy

    Fear and Great Joy

    So easy to overlook,
    the pairing
    and coupling of two little words,
    walking hand in hand with the women,
    escorting their running feet
    from the place of death and life,
    darkness and light.
    Hopelessness and hope
    I would like to ask these
    faith-filled witnesses
    to the miracle of Easter dawn,
    why it was
    they went to see the tomb,
    was it to cling to the permanence of the rock, the death anchor,
    or to grasp with desperation
    at the un-hoped for hope?
    But more than that,
    I would like to inquire,
    why it was
    they carried fear in their pockets,
    as the companion to their joy,
    For surely the weight should have been lifted, along with the stone,
    perhaps that is why Jesus felt that the angel message was not enough,
    and was compelled
    to make the personal visit,
    to breath fully the breath of hope,
    and banish, the fear from their joy.

  88. Celeste, my prayers are with you. It must be hard to preach resurrection in such a context. My heart aches for the families and classmates of those girls.

    Mid-life Rookie, I bet you see Easter and new life all around you much of the time--there are so many spirit-killing situations--toxic work environments, the threat/fear of losing a home, disfiguring surgery, a church rejecting you because you are gay, divorced, partnered and unmarried, memory of a big failure, homelessness(just the ones I've encountered in the last few days) and yet folks still spring to life or feel new life stirring somewhere inside them. A story I heard yesterday was from a very handsome man with a great hair cut who is facing having part of his ear removed in order to remove skin cancer. He was telling his wife about the new styling haircut he had seen in a magazine. Am also wondering what your sermon would be like if you started with the story/ies and then spun out from there.

    Walter Brueggemann talks about Eastering in his poem "Our Ashen Ways" in PRAYERS FOR A PRIVILEGED PEOPLE. I think that focusing on Easter as the big event we can miss the Eastering that is going on around us. Think I'll focus on the Eastering.

    No words on paper yet. Communion bread yet to bake. Does anyone have a tray of chocolate chip cookies fresh from the oven? Could use some to tide me over.

  89. Laurie, thanks for sharing the poem, and RevAlli, for your helpful words. No cookies here, but we have a lovely chocolate cake to share.

  90. mlr - I got this story from another preacher friend so I share it just in case it will work for you or anyone else!

    Giacomo Puccini, the great musician who wrote Madame Butterfly, La Boehme, Tosca, and so many other majestic operas, was stricken with cancer in 1922. So what did he do? He sat down to write a new opera - Turandot. His students asked him, “But suppose you die?” “Oh,” he replied confidently, “never fear. My students will finish it!”

    Puccini died in 1924…and as he predicted, his students did finish his music. The premier of the great opera, Turandot, was held in Milan at La Scala Opera House under the direction of Puccini’s best student – Arturo Toscanini.

    The gala performance of Turandot proceeded and came to that point in the music where the composer had finally laid down his pen. Tears streamed down Toscanini’s face. He put down his baton and turned to the audience and said, “Thus far, the master wrote…and then the master died.”

    Then, picking up his baton, his face wreathed with smiles and determination, Toscanini shouted to the audience, “BUT HIS DISCIPLES FINISHED HIS MUSIC!” And they played on through the grand finale.

  91. Okay - they're preachable. 3 services tomorrow with basically the same sermon. For the last time around I will switch out the illustrations just to keep staff and lay leaders who are doing time at more than one on their toes.

    Now I am transitioning The Boy to bed and wondering how much energy I will have tomorrow afternoon for other things that must be done before Wednesday kicks of vacation time - Royal Wedding, baby!

  92. I think this sermon is done, and in enough time for me to walk down the street to gather kindling from some cut down trees for the Vigil fire! I am tucking away that cotton ball and alcohol method for future emergencies; it's a handy tip indeed.

    Word verf: munch. May we all munch on feasts of word and sacrament that nurture new life within us...and maybe some of SB's chocolate cake, too :-)

  93. There is plenty to go around, Betsy!
    kzj, you are kind to the listeners. That's why we love you.

  94. Hot Cup Lutheran - Thank you! your sermon speaks to many of the feelings that are on our hearts - I am adapting with great gratitude. Ties in perfectly with a plan made weeks ago - copies for every family of a lovely Easter themed children's book "I know Jesus loves me" as a gift to send home to "Go and Tell"
    feeling like I can get home tonight at a resonable time...

    Tomorrow - looking forward to a fabulous Greek themed Easter dinner at the table of RevDrKate!

    Very grateful to God not be doing any of this alone

  95. Betsy, thanks for your thoughts about the ham! I think I'll serve it room temp and if anyone wants theirs warm I can just heat things up by the slice. That may be tacky but it's family and they'll get over it.

    I still have to make cracker crumb toppings for two casseroles plus deviled eggs and finish cleaning the house and get Easter baskets ready (plus get keyed-up boys to bed). I had a huge unexpected interruption earlier this evening frankly left me furious (in addition to making me get behind in my work). Now I'm trying to let it go and get in a better frame of mind.

    Blessings on all who are preparing sermons still. Our hour-lond interruption set my husband's sermon prep back a lot, so he will be working late into the night. Oh, the stress of the responsibility of proclaiming good news!

  96. Okay, here are my two, one for Sunrise, ...while it was still dark..., the other for -- I don't know, Regular Church? Indoor Church? Big Easter? Anyway, here it is: A Chance for Joy.

  97. I'm back from a wonderful time with friends. I stayed longer than I had planned, telling myself it was relaxation and inspiration for the sermon-to-be.

    I just made a pot of tea with honey to share with all of the 11th hour sermonizers among us.

    Writing now ... really writing now ...

  98. Hey all, checking on all my sisters, the great sermon writers, cooks, moms, easter egg hunters, and all round multi-taskers. Preaching tomorrow in the 11:00 contemporary service. I wrote the sermon over the week and finished it yesterday. Went into our Contemporary worship room to practice. It is really like a huge auditorium. Realized it still needed some work. So am cleaning it up. At least I got a practice in so I won't feel so uncomfortable up there. Busy yet fun day with the kids.

    Celeste, praying for you community. Anonymous praying for you and your church.

    Vicar of Hogsmeade, hope you feel better.

    Praying for all a wonderful Easter!

  99. OK, back at it after several bedtime attempts. It's not shaping up to be a restful night here at this two preacher household.

    Double checking to make sure I have the details for the supply gig, finishing the sermon. Off to supply church in the morning, then back to the hometown to be the preacher's wife. Whew. I hear a Sunday afternoon nap already calling my name...

  100. I hate to break the perfect 100 comments...sorry!

    After a busy day, I am here to finish up the sermon. I managed to get about half of it written last night before I fell asleep. However, I'm thinking it's not good when the sermon puts the preacher to sleep, so I don't know if it will stand as written.

    I'm going with Matthew and the we really like Easter to be nice and safe and predictable...but the resurrection shakes things up so much that there is no going back.

    Oh, and I'm totally making a document with all of the children's message ideas you all have posted here. I'm giving out plastic eggs with small bottles of bubbles inside...the egg is the tomb, and the bubbles remind us that Jesus rose!

  101. Oh, and I'm finding this sermon very helpful as I write about a world that longs to be safe.

    Now just trying to choose between the Narnia illustration about Aslan being good but not safe, and an illustration about special GPS systems that churches can rent to put on the baby Jesus from their nativity scenes to prevent theft.

  102. Also trying to keep myself from eating an entire bag of spring-colored almond MnMs. But I do have some yummy lemon almond iced tea for anyone who'd like some.

  103. Exactly, Songbird. I'm worried the quote is over-used (although I don't think I've used it in a sermon yet). Although isn't a readily accessible reference good for an Easter sermon?

    I think the baby Jesus GPS story is going in the files for Christmas Eve.

  104. Moses is watching Jethro's daughters dance, and that means it's time for an East Coast preacher with a sunrise service to hit the sack. I leave you chocolate cake and ice cold milk and prayers for enough sleep and brilliant, heartfelt proclamations in the morning. Good night!

  105. Just read everyone's comments after doing a final revision on tomorrow's sermon. As Celeste said, it's been a very difficult week here. In my own church in one family we have a brand new cancer diagnosis and a problem pregnancy all diagnosed this week. I am in the midst of "lasts" with this congregation as my last day with them is May 22 so all is bittersweet. I'm preaching John and trying to convey something about it not mattering how you come to the tomb. It feels like kind of stumbling effort in the face of it all, but there you go. Good to be with you all today. Blessed Easter everyone.

  106. Well... we're at preachable. And since there will be trumpets, I'm guessing that's what most folks are looking for.

    Blessings upon all of you this evening who continue to search for a way to say in 4 pages, what really should only take one line, "He is Risen!"

  107. I'm home from the Vigil....which was really really awesome. It's times like this that I am really grateful for our (TEC) prayer book liturgy.

    Christ is risen, alleluia!!

    Now to get a bite to eat, look at my sermon for tomorrow and then off to bed.

    And Lady Father...the fire worked so well! I can't thank you enough for the tip!

    My word verification is "unionit" Is it time to organize? :)

  108. Vicar, thank you for the wonderful story about Puccini. I think I will use it next Sunday on my last Sunday with this congregation. (yet skillfully not putting myself in the role of the master)

  109. Soo glad--the sermon has come together to the tune of "I serve a risen savior". Who would have thunk an Anglo-Catholic Episcopal Priest would end up pinning it all on a gospel hymn?! God works in mysterious ways doesn't she!

    Thanks for the company, the cold chocolate bread, and the lemon almond iced tea (will recipe follow?).

    Blessings on your morning.

  110. Time to hit the hay. Love to you all and may the spirit be our guide tonight, at dawn and in worship. TGBTG.

  111. Aaaaand...we have a sermon! One that needs a read-through to be sure, but a real sermon with a beginning, middle, and end!

    To celebrate, a toast with:

    Lemon Almond Tea

    4 cups water
    15 tea bags
    1/2 cup sugar (cut down from 3/4 cup in the original)
    3 quarts cold water
    1 12-oz. can frozen lemonade concentrate
    1.5 tsp. almond extract

    Bring water to a boil in a large saucepan. Remove from the heat, add tea bags, and cover and steep for 15 minutes (I like it strong). Discard tea bags. Add sugar and stir until dissolved. Stir in the cold water, lemonade, and almond extract. Serve over ice (except I don't, I just keep it in the fridge).

  112. How is everyone doing?
    Veg-All casserole is in the oven and passover rolls will follow soon.
    Anyone need some jellybeans?

  113. Just back from the BBQ at a church family's house. Thank God for southerners who move north.

    I may have had one more glass of wine than I needed. I'm not sloppy or anything, but I'll sleep happily. The sooner the better. Our first service is at 8:00 AM followed by breakfast cooked by the men (led by my husband - what church doesn't know what to do with pastors' husbands? Make 'em cook!)

    Any changes to the sermon will be done spontaneously. Thanks for those who visited and gave encouragement. I'm heading to bed before 10:00 pm on the night before Easter. I wonder if I'll even be able to sleep.

  114. Oh Vicar! That story rocks! How many Easter 2 or even Ascension sermons do you think it will appear in? Mine!

  115. Thanks for the story Vicar. Not sure if it will show up this week or soon. I went back to the Hope for Africa Children's Choir from Uganda singing "I am a Friend of God" at General Conference. These little kids who had every reason to believe God and the world had forsaken them singing I am a friend of God. Resurrection moment for them and for most of us in the collosium.

    Printing now, but also printing your story just in case the mood strikes me tomorrow.

    Have to get up at 4:30 tomorrow & leave house by 5: 15 in order to get to site of Sunrise Service in time to determine if ground is too soggy and we move back to the church. Blessings to all good night.

  116. Okay! The sermon is printed and I am off to bed (and hopefully to sleep)! Up in 5 1/2 hours for sunrise service!

    Christ is risen! Blessings on all pondering, preaching, and proclamation this holy day!

  117. Here for the late shift. I'm moved by the Pete Rollins piece on denying the resurrection, and am heading in that direction. It is not about our head, but about our hearts; not about what we believe, but how we live.

  118. Vicar, I am so using your story.

    SemFem, the tea looks delicious!

    I think I have a sermon. A little preachy, but sometimes I end up fixing that in the morning.

    Thanks for the company, the treats and the support!

  119. hi everyone! the story I really liked for this sermon DOES NOT FIT - must find another one.

    anyway, determined to be done in another 27 minutes, so i can watch the season premiere of Doctor Who, but I dont think THAT's gonna happen.

    Ok, off to story-surf. What ARE those Chilean miners up to these days, anyway?

  120. Vicar,
    Thanks for that story - that's a wonderful illustration, and may well work itself into my text.

  121. oops -didnt do it. back in an hour.

  122. Happy Easter Eve, RevGals! Songbird, thanks for the great hospitality. My husband (of exactly one year today!) and I are recently in from leading an Easter Eve service--one of my very favorite services of the entire year.

    Just wanted to swing by and say howdy and let you know I'm holding all of you in prayer this night. May you have a joyous Easter, and splendid Easter naps!

    P.S. Just posted the Easter Sunday reflection at the Sanctuary of Women blog and would be delighted to celebrate Easter with you there.

  123. Easter Vigil is done -
    Alleluia Christ is Risen!
    The Lord is Rien Indeed Alleluia!

    need to leave here in 6 1/2 hours for the sunrise service.

  124. We just got home from an Episcopal vigil. That was kinda cool!

    Anyway, the "main" sermon is not as polished as I want it. So I'm still here for a bit. With a sunrise service, I don't intend to stay long. We'll see how that actually works out. :)

  125. At this point, I like the sunrise sermon WAY more than the other one. That's not how it's supposed to be.

    I can't go to bed with it like this.

    Anyone else willing to admit s/he's still up working on a sermon?

  126. Okay. I can preach the "main" sermon without looking for a tomb in which to hide.

    I can finally go to bed now.

    Blessings on your Easter Sunday!

    Christ is Risen!

  127. :::tiptoeing in to see you all slumbering soundly in sweet little rows to whisper gently:::

    Sleep tight, little revgals. And Easter Joy to you when you arise.

    (oh, and I have 1260 words that sort of hang togehter, so I'm calling it a night, myself.)

    Ok, lights out, now.

  128. It's 4:26, and I'm awaiting my turn in the shower. We head out at 5 for the sunrise service. I hope others slept mOre soundly than I!

  129. Christ is risen, Happy preaching on Resurrection Sunday.
    I got up earlier than usual as we are to be at the church early for worship prep and all that stuff.

    Have enjoyed comments and ideas for childrens's sermons.

    Blessings and may you find the rest you need later in the day.

  130. Alleluia!!! The sun came up over the trees here in North Yarmouth, Maine, he is out of the tomb!
    Blessings to you, gals and pals, and a Happy Easter!

  131. I want to thank all of you - I returned here throughout the day yesterday as I prepared two sermons for today - following others as they did what I did made me feel part of a group - thank you. Happy Easter All!!!

  132. So where's the after-party? BYO Adult Beverage, I presume... I have a cold bottle of Pinot Grigio to share!
    We could swap war stories of the day - I swear that Muthah+ and I gave First Communion to an entire row this morning!

  133. Revgals - don't know how many of you will look back in but just had to say how much I've enjoyed journeying with y'all through the marathon that is Holy Week and Easter. I feel blessed indeed to have such talented friends. Hope many of you can catch some rest now. Love you x

  134. An after-party is brilliant! I'll post it.


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