Visit our new site at

Saturday, May 14, 2011

11th Hour Preacher Party: Abundant Life Edition

Simple Abundance Lap Quilt
"Simple Abundance" lap quilt
Greetings to all of you preachers, friends of preachers and especially you not-this-week preachers!


Pull up a chair and join us 11th hour preachers as we ponder and process and preach-ify the abundance of good news in this weeks texts.

Are you preaching about the abundant life purpose of Jesus in John 10?

Will you inspire your congregation to emulate the abundance shared by the Acts 2 church?

Or will you enfold your flock with the Shepherd's abundant and abiding presence in Psalm 23?

Interesting coincidence:  Psalm 23 was one of the scriptures for Lent 4, the first week I hosted the preacher party here, and I preached on it then.  On this, my second round as hostess just a few weeks later, we are served up Psalm 23 once again!   For the liturgically curious, Psalm 23 comes around again on October 11, 2011.

Where are your thoughts and prayers leading you this week?

How will you use current events or personal stories?

Any children's sermon ideas?

Please share generously!  Anyone have coffee ready?

Lots of sheep
An abundance of sheep


  1. I wonder where Pearl Down Under is - she's usually first in!
    I'm on Acts 2 this week - sharing abundantly - shouldn't be too difficult to draw together the stories told by christian Aid workers as we begin a week of collections and support for Christian Aid - but who knows, I may be here much later.
    I have a Zumba class shortly and then a wedding this afternoon.
    Coffee is ready and hot tea with some lovely berries and yogurt. Help yourself

  2. Hi Liz.

    I’m here. Been at Sexual Misconduct Awareness Training today; Ministers are required to attend compulsory upgrades are required every few years [what a way to spend a Saturday].
    Now to write something for tomorrow. I am thinking of the John passage, though the psalm is included, and the Acts passage is being read. After worship tomorrow is the Annual General Meeting of the congregation; annual reports, budget for next year, and election of church councillors and elders. The Shepherd and sheep image is so often a comfortable one of individual relationship, I am hoping to write something about the role of Jesus as Shepherd of the church.
    Lots of home-made chicken and vegetable soup to share.

  3. Blogger is so pretty when it works!

    Good morning, all. I am in John and 1 Peter, but will gladly pull in some Psalm 23. We have the confirmation class joining and recognition of the 50/70 year members.

    It all can tie together and admittedly I have an agenda of my own of calming folks down who are worried about what the passage of 10-a will do to the church. I have my own VERY positive spin on what it means to end discrimination and allow lgbt who are in committed relationships to serve in ordained positions (minister, elder, deacon) but sadly not everyone is there with me.

    Meanwhile today could hold a t-ball game right in the middle of my writing time. Could be a late night and I need it not to be.

    This got long. Sorry.

    Good morning!

  4. There is NO coffee here! Ack!!!
    I am a city preacher in a country-ish congregation, so talking about livestock is probably foolish. Therefore, I will preach from my reality, which is about trying to get an old dog who I didn't train myself to go along with the program, while he attempts to do the same with me. Who is God in this metaphor? (I'll let you know if I find out.)
    I think it might also be fruitful, since we're reading the 23rd, to talk about how, while pretty, the KJV is neither the way Jesus said it nor the last word in interpreting the ancient documents. Just as a sidebar.
    But first, out to the country for "Holy Crap!"--our compost sale fundraiser for the Pet Place Pantry. I'll check in again later.

  5. SB - love the old dog/big dog scenario. Happy crapping? ummmm, errr.... - have a good morning.

  6. Good Morning, Liz, pearl, KJZ, and Songbird! We woke early with our sweet geriatric dog Roxie having an arthritis attack - once again she was unable to walk and panting hard = in pain. The biggest challenge for her are the stairs that lead from the bedrooms upstairs to the kitchen and outside. Anyway, I gave her her medication, got her outside, fed her, and now she is resting peacefully at my feet. So hard to have a frightened panicking aging dog, one who was always so competent, graceful, and calm.

    So I am thinking I am going to talk about names and naming, beginning with a story my mother use to tell about naming me, continue with how I named my kids, talk about the names we have for Jesus, and then conclude with a bit on the upcoming baptism and how, in baptism, we all share the same surname "Christian."

    Not sure, but that's what I'm thinking about - using the John reading and the Good Shepherd as one of the names we have for Jesus.

    So far, my sermon last week, and the one I am thinking about this week completely underwhelm me. I hope the congregation forgives me for these bland first sermons.

    Coffee here, later bacon and eggs, maybe pancakes! Its cool and rainy...

  7. It has been a very rough week at my church. Unbloggable stuff but suffuse it to say that when a congregation becomes anxious, it is the person in the robe that they focus on.

    Not really feeling the abundant life here or the protection of the Lord as good shepherd. How do I preach the good news without sounding like a hypocrite.

  8. G_G -- so praying for you. sounds very rough there....

    It's a complicated weekend here. Interim sr. has been working less, due to some issues, and so I'm preaching tonight, kind of on the fly. He's preaching the two morning services, and then I have the confirmation service. which is topical and not so much on the lessons...

    we just got the call committee here, so entering another phase of the transition.

    and it's been a rough week for the family, as my husband's sister has been staying here with her mom (my mother-in-law). Her long-time boyfriend died last weekend while she was here. very much a surprise, and it's hitting her hard.

  9. G-G - could you preach it like a prayer? (That is if your question wasn't rhetorical.

    Prayers ascending for you and Diane's extended family.

  10. Hi all,

    This is early for me. There is COFFEE--freshly brewed and hot (not decaf). I've been sick with sinusitis and bronchitis the last couple weeks and am emerging from that. But, this is what I have so far...

    I'm in John primarily, focusing on he last 2 verses of the pericope. Jesus leads us in and out. It's cozy and safe inside, but we're driven outside for nourishment and then come back in again. So, we're simultaneously insiders and outsiders. Somehow I think there may be an application there for our PCUSA friends.

    Prays for the PCUSA and the wonderful and terrible things you'll encounter in your journey in the coming days. We ELCA folk are still going through it.

  11. Terri, I understand about the geriatric dog. Last July our Abby was struggling so much and in such pain despite everyone's best efforts, that we had her put to sleep. She rests comfortably with the saints on the campus of Gettysburg Lutheran Seminary. Prayers for her and you.

  12. Thanks, Ivy.

    Diane, prayers for you and your family.

    G_G - prayers for you takes a lot of energy to be a non-anxious presence in an anxious system....

  13. just back to say that I'm sure glad I loaded Google chrome, because it turns out that I actually still can't get into blogger if I use IE 7.

    But it works like a charm with that there google chrome.

    thanks for the prayers, Kathryn. Will be continuing to think about you, and pray for you G_G.

    I need to get off to the Breakfast bible study soon.

    I hear they have coffee there.

  14. Good morning everyone! I slept in, which I hardly ever do. Thanks for starting the party off, LIz and Pearl, and thanks to the rest of you for keeping the party going! I just made some coffee and oatmeal and sausage, so help yourselves.

    Terri and G-G and Diane, prayers for each of you as you prepare in the midst of challenge.

    Songbird, no coffee! That's truly dire. (trying to imagine ... can't quite ...)

    Kathryn, I didn't even look at 1 Peter. (blush) It's probably what I should have chosen for my own sermon!

    Getting some of that coffee and breakfast in me and then I need to try to figure out if I've already used in this church the perfect illustration for this week's sermon.

  15. Terri, keeping you in my prayers too. I'm sure your sermons are fine, but I know how you feel. I think it takes awhile to get your sea legs.

    I will also be keeping Roxie in my prayers.

  16. done. also managed to download a song - a new experince for me, for reflection time after the sermon. Keith Green The Lord is my Shepherd- now that shows my age :)

    sermon is here

    After 11pm, time for a cuppa and bed.

    God-Guurrll praying for you

  17. KJZ - your comment intrigues me. Yes it was not a rhetorical question, I'm stumped. Say more about preaching it like a prayer.

  18. G-G,
    I read somewhere this week that the case could be made for Psalm 22 (My God, My God why hast thou forsaken me..) and 23 going together. You would need to not make it personal, but struggling with the lack of feeling God's presence is universal and yet faith is the understanding that even when unfelt and in the darkest valley - we know God is with us.

    If we didn't believe that on some level, we wouldn't even bother to pray.

    Maybe under the guise of supplying everyone with the words to pray when they are in a dark situation, you preach the sermon as a prayer.

    That is ALL thinking out loud so tread carefully. :)

  19. Heading out to t-ball hoping the points I get for going cancel out the points I lose when I suggest The Boy hang with his dad into the afternoon so I can work on the sermon. :(

  20. Friends! how nice to have blogger back and be part of this conversation again.

    SB, we "shovelled it for Jesus" last night in the Rectory driveway, 2 truckloads of finest organic compost, of which we got maybe 400 40-lb bags stacked ready for sale this morning.

    G-G, would your folks possibly hear that the Acts reading isn't about "when everything was hunky-dory" but "how we behave when everything ISN'T?" Keeping all of you in prayer on this.

    I keep wanting to haul in the extra piece from ?Isaiah? about what God-as-shepherd promised to do, the bit that didn't make it into the 23rd, there, about ALSO checking out which sheep were bullying and crowding the other sheep, and going upsides they woolly head.

    On which ladylike note, I am getting dressed for a Pink Tea at the local botanical garden (flexes pinky fingers).

  21. Crimson Rambler, do you mean Ezekiel 37? (Don't be impressed; I had to look it up earlier in the week).

    I'm up for another guest preacher gig. Trying to figure out how to tread lightly, if at all, with the PCUSA news of the week. This congregation is very loosely connected to the denomination. Though I've been there several times before, I have no idea how they're taking the news.

    It's been a week here, and today is more of the same (Daddy working, Mama home with the girls). Having said all that, I found a perfectly lovely sustainable sermon in the files about how we hear the voice of the Shepherd. It's sounding pretty good right about now.

    Ivy, I love the insider/outsider idea...might have to ponder more on that.

    Blessings, all who juggle and struggle this day.

  22. Today I have a wedding in the park. It is supposed to be a very simple, straightforward event. I really hope it is!

    John is the text for the sermon.

    I sheepishly share this video for inspiration.

  23. Praying for Roxie and GodGuurrl and all of you writers and preachers. My, how this world needs some good news! I can't think of a more important job than the one you all have.
    Songbird, I'm gonna send you a little emergency thing of coffee for Sermon Saturdays. Inconceivable!

  24. Greetings, Mary Beth!

    Vicar, I'm looking forward to hearing about the wedding in the park after you see if it fulfills its pre-description.

    CR, the Pink Tea? A full report, please!

    Esperanza, your sustainable sermon sounds great and it also sounds like you have some ideas that you might want to introduce into it. I was also intrigued by the inside/outside idea especially as it relates to "In and Out" (movie title, too) of the churches demands/expectations of our GLBTQ sisters and brothers.

    Ivy, I would love to say that the UCC has made it through all of the hard parts of affirming GLBT ordination and marriage equality resolutions, but -- alas -- we are still struggling and, in many ways, divided over these. Prayers and more prayers ... I'm wondering whether to mention this week's news about that in the sermon this week.

    I'm off to a pre-marital counseling appointment. I do some of my best sermon thinking in the car so here's hoping!

  25. Mary Beth, I for one thank you from the bottom of my heart.

    back from the breakfast Bible study with the guys.

    gonna hang out here for awhile before going to church all afternoon.

    It's after Easter and I still feel like I'm not getting to the end of the stress. I have a funeral on Monday p.m. before I go to Festival of homiletics. Also preaching and doing everything next weekend as the Interim Sr. will be gone.

    maybe then....

    as for me, I'm doing John 10 tonight, and talking about how the gate leads outward as well as inward, and the only place of safety is wherever Jesus is. No guarantees but that our lives are in his hands. In him is life.

    then for confirmation, doing a short homily on the gifts of God's spirit, given to the confirmands. Using 1 Corin. 12 and the Wizard of Oz as texts.


  26. We surely aren't over it in the UCC, because no governing body exists to enforce anything--even a conversation about it--on a local church. My current call has had two LGBT pastors (one settled and living a DADT life but everyone acknowledges it now years later, the other Interim and out), and both are highly regarded. But it would be a leap for them to call someone who is out to be a settled pastor now, with the world so polarized on this subject.

    But here's the good news: I found a bag of Fair Trade, shade-grown Mexican in the coffee cupboard at church!!! (Yes, I bought it, but I didn't know it was still there.) So I am drinking good coffee.

    My meeting with a bride is over. I'm extending professional courtesy to a young DOC pastor whose bride is from this area and letting them basically rent us for the wedding. Yes, I've compromised my rigid standards, but at least it wasn't for the money. (Not that we won't take the money.) I told a Trustee, I would hope someone else would do the same for me if the situation ever arose, and she cackled. Yes, my marital history is High-LAR-ious. Go, me!

  27. 23 comments already. Wow, we are partying today. Well, here I am again getting ready to preach, the Senior Pastor has a kidney stone and is on strong pain meds. I am preparing back up just in case. i believe I will pull out an old sermon and update it for Sunday. I was going to try to put one together that fit the theme but I just could not and let that go. Its also Senior Recognition Sunday for all the graduates. Could be fun.

  28. Hi all, I am sorry, I thought I was signing in with my account. I had no idea we had a sermon blog. Please don't erase my comment, just know it was mine.

  29. Preaching about abundance tomorrow - we will gather for diocesan picnic later in the afternoon, and living out of abundance has been a diocesan theme for the last year.
    CR - thanks for the thoughts on Acts - intriguing!!
    Prayers for all of y'all in the midst of the PCUSA transitions - been there, still there in my neck of the TEC woods.

  30. Not preaching this weekend, so I'm using this week's sermon prep time to get a jump on next's week sermon at the chuch considering calling me. And preping for the interview next Sat. It looks good, but after a year of waiting for first call and three first interviews that went nowhere, I'm really nervous.

    On the fun side - I'm working on a T-shirt quilt for my daughter's graduation and designing a necklace.

    I'll stop back by later to gather pearls of wisdom from you-all's sermons.

  31. Viewing this on my iPad for the first time. You all look great! I plan to preach John 10 & ps 23 next week so will follow closely your suggestions today. Tomorrow is youth Sunday and they will show a Glee video on acceptance. I said they could as long as they followed it with their own stories. Off to see how they plan t develop those. Then I will invite congregation to share in small groups then I will pull it all together - in theory. I'd better get a good nights sleep tonight!

  32. Home from t-ball, The Boy is with his dad until 3:30 which buys me time to write the sermon.... or nap, eat and upload t-ball videos.

  33. Rev Nancy - ipad! enquiring minds want to know! how is it? do you like it?

    also wondering how that youth sunday is going to turn out. enquiring minds want to know...

  34. Prayers for all of you as you ponder and preach this weekend.

    This was a difficult week; my dad died on Tuesday, peacefully at home with our family gathered around him. I offered the BCP prayers for the time of death, and it was like escorting him to the gates of heaven; he took another few breaths and then, gently, no more. His memorial service is this afternoon.

  35. Betsy, prayers and love at this most sacred time for you and your family. Thank you for sharing with us.

  36. Ok. I had full head of steam on this sermon, and about 3/4 finished. Developing the idea of names - how I was named, naming my children, naming as identity, Names for God in the Bible, names for Jesus including the good shepherd, developing into our Christian identity in baptism. What is our identity as CHristians, how is Christian not only a noun but a verb?

    Then I added a snippet from the Good Wife, last week's episode: Calinda, the tight-lipped, unemotional private dective for the law firm, has betrayed Alicia (unwittingly). The normally cool Calinda falls apart in the privacy of an elevator. Later she says to her boss Will, following his inquiry into her well-being, "The one thing I have learned," she says, "is that I do not have to confide in anyone."

    I was thinking of developing that image into the idea that Christian identity and work is about community, being together, compassion....

    But I'm not sure how I want to get there - or if I want to keep that image.

    So - I'm going to go do some yoga, meditate, take a shower, and come back to it later....and see what happens....hope you all are having an easier time than I am developing a sermon...

  37. Ramona, it sounds like you are very very close this time. Be bold! Be you! And let us know as soon as you can.

    Terri, sounds like a good strategy for getting things sorted and clarified.

    Rev Nancy, I'd also be interested in hearing about your iPad experience. Others' comments also most welcome!

    Rev Abi -- no erasing you!

    ElastiGirl, picnics are such an experience of abundance in my experience. And what a great theme to live into for a year. Wondering how that would go as a personal mission for a year?

    I have gotten started, thanks to a story I found on a blog in the TextWeek resource list.

    Made more coffee -- it's World Fair Trade Day -- and jumping back into writing. Anyone else going to be ready for a mid-afternoon snack break soon?

  38. The park wedding went better than I anticipated. whew!

    There was a geocache nearby so I stopped to find it, complete with clericals.

    Now, I'm off to run some errands.

    Eventually, I'll work on this sermon. really ...

  39. World Fair Trade Day! who knew! a reason to shop!

    and Betsy -- prayers ascending for you and for your family...

  40. Betsy, prayers for you in your tasks of grief.
    Ramona, remembering you too in this anxious time of possibilities.
    Vicar - loved the movie you shared!
    And, Crimson Rambler, you sparked a blog post from me. Thanks!
    Off to a production of Godspell now but will be back later.

  41. Betsy, what a beautiful and deep moment for your family, in the midst of sadness. I'm sorry for your loss, but grateful you had that opportunity.

    I'm home, I've had lunch, I've noodled around doing other things. Now it really is the time and the place to engage.

    (Or take a little nap.)

  42. WEll so far today I have had breakfast with the Property Committee, tried to find the address book for my e-mail to migrate it to the new office computer (with no luck, hopefullly the old CPU has not yet been wiped since I obviously didnot copy the right file onto the backup in preparation for the transfer), done some laundry and moved some dirt around.

    SErmon? What Sermon????

    Looking at being both sheep and shepherds. But more than that may wait until after 2nd child's birthday party this afternoon...

  43. Betsy, prayers for you and your family. Thank you for sharing your beautiful story with us.

  44. Vicar, you made me smile. I can just see you running around in full clericals trying to find a cache. There's a sermon somewhere in there.

  45. Littlest one is napping. Biggest one is having an extended conversation with Elmo, who is apparently not tired either. I'm fighting a nap and trying to concentrate on Sunday's stuff. Just looked at the bulletin and saw the dreaded "Children's Sermon" listed. Also need to write prayers. This couch is very comfy....

  46. Hi friends. Just popping in after our Children and Youth Sunday rehearsal. DH is preaching tomorrow (on Acts), but the DCE, the Director of Music, and I have already done all the heavy lifting for the service, helping the children plan and prepare to lead. It's a huge thing to pull off! I am doing the children's message for the day (already planned, thankfully), but otherwise I can sit back and enjoy (or be nervous - my own children are playing the piano for the first time in public, and one of them is reading in worship for the first time).

    Betsy, I am so very sorry for your loss. Thinking of you in your grief.

    G_G - UGH. Sorry for what you're dealing with. Congregational anxiety sucks, esp. when it's focused on the pastor.

    My parents were in a wreck last night - very bad weather in Georgia (tornado conditions), and as they came around a curve in the country road they live on, the crashed into a tree that had fallen across the road. My mom saw it in time to yell to my dad who swerved and braked enough to keep from hitting it head-on, but they still did hit it. Thankfully, they are all right. My mom is a paraplegic and they were traveling in her converted van, which is now pretty mangled. She also slid partway out of her wheelchair in the wreck (though she had a seatbelt on). She banged up her arm on the dash a bit but otherwise is surprisingly okay. They are shaken up, and I am too, but mostly I am just so so thankful they are all right.

    I don't have any goodies to share, but I do have copious amounts of coffee.

  47. Here's teh sermon. Please stop by and let me know if it preaches. It was hard for me to write in the midst of being the brunt of the congregations anxiety.

  48. Hi Preachers,

    I had a busy morning of meetings, came home for lunch and have managed to procrastinate since! I am working on Acts with a little abundance from John for good measure, inspired by but not directly using (at least I don't think I am) a previous sermon on this pericope from Acts.

    I spent a lovely four days with my grandchildren this week and came back to shop for some smaller clothes since I've now lost 19 lbs! I needed a refreshing week and was blessed to get it.

    Prayers for you and your family, Betsy, and for all those who are hurt or struggling.

  49. oh earthchick! so glad you parents are (relatively) all right!

    I'm in the office, getting ready for confirmation tomorrow and short sermon on sheep and on being where Jesus is/ tonight.

    no notes. cause you know tonight it's usually about 20 people.

    thinking about all of you. need to write a bunch of blog posts.

  50. RDM, exciting! This is the week your package is going in the mail, I swear! At least the item is now wrapped.
    I have been a hyper-efficient, multi-valent procrastinator for a while this afternoon, and am now getting down to writing. I have had or will have commitments at church every Saturday this month, and much as I love the things going on there, it's not good for my writing routine.

  51. Amazing myself by getting something up so here's a sermon that I will likely go back and tweak later.

    The suggestion of a nap has reached my subconscious so I go to take a little one. Be back soon!

  52. Question--how are you all dealing with the abundant, lavish life we're given in Christ and what that means in relationship to the reality of the devastation in the US and other parts of the world from natural disasters? I'm at the part of my sermon where it's good, but SO WHAT??? Any thoughts???? Thanks.

  53. Vicar - can soooo see that! And kinda want pictures. Go, reenact now! :)

    Actually have my way in, my outline, my very clear sense of what this sermon is about (Acts 2), but struggling because Other Pastor doesn't want me to talk too much about 10-A... or at all. Because he thinks, and he's probably right, that any pulpit conversation should come from him. If I bring it up (especially as he's out of town this Sunday) could easily be taken by those who are upset as just words from that young liberal lady preacher.

    So, I'm talking about it without talking about it... yup, that feels real authentic.

  54. Earthchick - so glad your parents are all right - very scary.

    Betsy - prayers for you as you celebrate the life of your father...

    I am back from my mid-afternoon centering. Working on my nails, a mini-manicure is necessary...and then...with a cup of earl grey and some dark chocolate with almonds I'll return to that sermon...wondering if I can wrap it up in 100 words or less, or else I have some serious editing to do.

    (wordverification "suckei" - which kinda describes the way I've been feeling about my sermons lately...)

  55. Go easy on yourself, Terri! It's only week 2 with them, so it's as if you've only preached one that matters. You'll be great.

  56. Thanks for the video Vicar!
    Kathryn, thanks for sharing the link to the story of Paddy Plenty.

    Even though I've got the gist of a sermon together, it needs work. I'm focusing on Jesus as Shepherd and Jesus as door to abundant life but it needs work. Sharon, I'm taking you up on the idea of a nap, maybe that will help me sort it out.

  57. hi. getting ready to preach the 'early edition.'

    it's cold in here!

    see you later tonight...

  58. I sat down and looked at the sermon-wool that has been sheared waiting for further preparation and decided that a nap would be the next best step.

    See you after I've counted some sheep.

  59. whoa! I think I did it! I think I concluded this sermon. Now. to let it rest for a minute while I do a few things at the church...then re-read it, tweak it, and hopefully print it! Good golly!

    I hope you all are coming along on your's too!

  60. I want to read your sermons! But I don't dare until I finish mine. Halfway there, give or take.

  61. I'm back and I have some de-caf French Vanilla coffee to share and also some iced green tea with honey for those who are needing to cool off. I woke up with a few good sermon tweaks, I think. Hope that works for you, too, Lady Father.

    G-G, I read your very inspiring sermon and left a comment on your blog. Thank you for sharing it with us.

    Terri, I have found that it's harder to preach with a new congregation than as a guest preacher (one shot) in an unknown congregation and certainly harder than it will be after you get to know them. You probably can't make any real mistakes during this time if they can tell you love them and are excited to be there.

    Songbird, Terri, Vicar, Lady Father ... and anyone who wants to share sermons ... I'm looking forward to reading anything you want to share.

    More prayers for Betsy and Earthchick as the sun sets here.

  62. I have a draft and it's a very different sermon than the one I set out to write. Not sure if that is a good thing or not, so I will let it sit for a bit and then reevaluate.

  63. No nap. Hospital calls for colleague that I almost forgot. One kid is off to an end of the year banquet. The other kid is watching tv. I suppose I should settle in to work.

  64. Ok. I posted it. I am relatively content with it. You can read What's In A Name (to which I think I surmise, "Everything!"

    I have to now write the prayers for the blog for Sunday. After that, if I have any energy left I'll be around to read your sermons.

  65. Okay, here's mine: His Master's Voice. I have to eat some supper, and then I will be reading all of yours!

  66. I just wanna say I love my RevGals. I appreciate the feedback I've received on my blog. I am so grateful that all I have to do is pick up the phone and I can find a dear one to guide me in tightening my sermon up.

    I've revised it just a bit and reposted it on my blog.

    Thank you for your thoughts, your prayers and your encouragement. You remind me that yes the Holy Spirit does have my back.


  67. imagine my chagrin at being informed that my very youngest baby brother has just been suspended from the Acolytes' Guild in the Church of the Fumiferous Doubter, for having done a 360 with the thurible during a Marian festival. (Thurible = smoke pot, in case you were wondering.)

    Pathos somewhat mitigated by Very Youngest Baby Brother having turned 56, last birthday.

    SIGH. I walked the FLOOR with him, sistahs, and yet he seems determined to bring down my grey head with sorrow etc.

    (tongue firmly in cheek over here.)

    Thank you for your stories and videos and conversation and HELP with this lovely task that has fallen to us.

  68. earthchick, I missed your comment earlier about your parents' accident! How scary!! So glad they're okay!

  69. Ugh - - blogger. Not letting me comment. I'm THIS close to leaving it behind, but I'm too cheap to pay for something else!

    At my comment that basically said I haven't started yet, but at least it's early. I'm thankful for all the sheep comments from Tuesday and have titled my sermon "The Truth about Sheep." I'm going to start with a contrast between the idyllic pastoral "Good Shepherd" scenes we're used to and what sheep are really like...what the shepherd's job is. Ultimately I want to hone in on the voice recognition piece, but I'm not sure how yet.

  70. Thanks, friends, for sharing my relief and gratitude with me. It's hard enough to worry about one's aging parents without them having this sort of narrow miss added in to make things a bit more nerve-wracking!

    Blessings on all you preacher babes. You can do it!

  71. Ivy! So glad I decided to read all the comments. Your leading in and out, insider/outsider comment may have helped me with the part about hearing Jesus's voice, figuring out how to follow it. Also abundant life is dynamic life, moving life, life that doesn't stay still. Jesus' voice calls those who are on the fringes into the center and those who are in the center out of the fringes. Ding ding ding! I think we may have a sermon!!!

  72. It has been a very long, emotional day as we celebrated our bishop and his wife and bid them a loving farewell. The weather was so good to us and I have sunburn to prove it.
    I began folding cranes last Friday and finished the last of about 800 Thursday morning as two friends also finished threading them. The resultant 7 ft. cross was hung in the camp chapel yesterday in time for today's event.
    But I haven't done much about a sermon. At 8:15 this morning, I knew what I want to say tomorrow; however, I neglected to write it down! So I will start tomorrow by re-reading FWIW on 1 Peter and then hoping the HS strikes twice.
    And now I am going to bed. I hope you all had good days and are ready to preach the Word in the morning.

  73. She Rev, go for it! And may your enthusiasm infect others who need a little extra something right now.

    Martha/SB, thanks for reading my sermon. Your comments are much appreciated.

    G-G, our RevGal community is a living parable of the abundance in gathered community of faith. The Holy Spirit has your/our back indeed!

  74. Margaret, thanks for checking in and -- wow! -- the cranes! Sounds amazing! Have a blessed night's sleep.

  75. Praying for all with grief and worry weighing down.

    Tomorrow is baccaleaureate (sp?:) so I'm going with the sheep knowing the Master's voice- Songbird- LOVE your sermon and Babe is a great illustration. Don't quite have it in place but am getting there.

    DH has a job nibble here. I have a nibble at a church. Prayers appreciated.

  76. 7 and no sermon is pretty appalling even for me.

    just got triangulated -oops. not a biggy, but still try not to let that happen. so, have to make one call to un-do it, hopefully. and then, to work.

    SB - also, writing about rescue dog this week - who is little! fuzzy! white! so like a little lamb! or not.

    still chewing on that "spare the rod, spoill the child' comment from Tuesday - I liked that. So I'm thinking of talking about guidance. It's pet blessing day at our place, so maybe I neednt say too much...

    thinking of you with church and family troubles - earthchick, betsy, g-g, diane.

    take care everyone. the full moon will come and go in a day or two, and I dont know about you, but that will really help me....

    if you see me back here, you'll know I"m not writing, as I should be so I can still have time to watch DOCTOR WHO tonight! so, hopefully wont see you again til next week - have a great party, latenighters.

  77. ack! Sorry for directing whoever that was to Ezekiel 37 earlier today. That would be Ezekiel 34. Sigh...that kind of week around here.

    Back at it, tying up loose ends. Like the children's sermon...ideas, anyone?

  78. Juniper, what a perfect fit for a pet blessing!
    I'm going to head to bed, carrying my copy of "Women, Food and God," which I suppose is better than reading it at the dinner table (which I also did). Blessings on all who are proclaiming the Good News, and on those who will hear it from you!

  79. RevTSB, fingers crossed and prayers for you and hubby.

    Juniper, pet blessing fits very well, doesn't it?

    This preacher party girl is fading so I'm going to tuck it in for the night. I will check back in the early a.m. to see if any late nighters are still up or others are awaking.

    Blessed rest to all! I'll leave a night light on for you.

  80. I'm still here. Just in case anyone was wondering ...

  81. Me too, Vicar. I have more than enough words on a page to add to the words in my head to equal a sermon. I just need to tear myself away from Angry Birds to write the darn thing down.

  82. I pretty much have two short sermons that don't really go together plus another thought. The sum of those parts equals a verbal wreck.

  83. I've got about 700 words of one sermon, but about half of those are all the "facts about sheep" that people shared on Tuesday. Does it count that the words aren't all mine?

  84. Switched up from I Peter to Acts and John and I'm working on something about following the voice of God towards unity.

    Grateful to SB who helped me pull some thoughts together and add some glue between sections.

    One more read through then bed. AP is actually on vacation tomorrow so I am seriously in charge instead of in charge in name only. :)

    Peace, friends.
    Vicar, I sure do miss you. Just sayin'. :)

  85. The worst part of writing a shepherd/sheep sermon is I have the stupid camp ditty "I just wanna be a sheep ba, ba, ba ba" stuck in my head

  86. And about now is when I begin to wonder - - Gee do I have any clothes clean to wear tomorrow?

  87. clean clothes - good question!

    And which suit did I wear last week?

  88. So apparently I am the only UCCan clergy in the area this week..

    Just got a call for my 2nd funeral this week--and neither is for my own congregation. (But now I am wondering when #3 will come)

  89. Vicar, I have started a sermon on Good Shepherd Sunday with that song (well actually just the chorus since the verses seemed not as relevant). But not tomorrow.

  90. Gord - I hope #3 happens after someone else has returned to handle it.

  91. kzj- we live too far away from each other :(

  92. Gord - I've been just annoyed with it but maybe I should start my sermon with it. I could get a few minutes just with the chorus. :)

  93. maybe I'll use the song for Children's Time

  94. What do you get when you cross a sheep and a goat?

  95. an animal that eats tin cans and gives steel wool

  96. Burning the midnight oil in the studio--working on the art for next week's post--and wanted to swing by and share a late-night howdy.

    Earthchick, Betsy, G_G, & all those dealing with rough stuff this night...blessings and peace... Prayers and gratitude for all you tenders of the Word who are searching for just the right words to offer in the morning. Thank you for your labors.

    Will give you a cup of jasmine tea and my very last Milano cookie if you swing by...

    Good night!

  97. VICAR!!! Did you have to mention the song?! I had forgotten that! I only learned it in seminary but will never forget it.
    My sermon is done and posted - it's short, but oh well. I'm sure I'll change it and add to on the fly as always.
    *humming the sheep song as I wander off to bed*

  98. Oh and I almost forgot!

    I have leftover cake from the birthday party to share (I am sure 2nd child won't notice--and besideds her sister has a party tomorrow, therefore another cake)

    There are hazards when all your children are born in the same month....(but can you tell I usually take holidays in August)

  99. ElastiGirl- Stuck you!

    Jan - I'll be right over

  100. Gord - As my mom would say, "You're really burning the midnight oil tonight!"

  101. Nah I am in Mountain time===only 9:37 here

  102. Well that explains that! I thought you were Eastern time

  103. I added jazz hands to the sheep song as I got ready for bed!! blessings on us all as we rest for tomorrow

  104. Chiming in late after a very full day and evening.

    Prayers to all for the morning, especially thosenin special need of God's grace and presence in a difficult time.

  105. I finally managed to finish the sermon. Now for the prayers

  106. I think I'll be walking a dog. And while I do, I'll be trusting that the Holy Spirit has got my back.

    Blessings on your Sunday!

  107. Nice finish, Vicar.

    This is my last sermon before vacation - - first Sunday off since October. I'll be real honest here folks. I just don't care.

    I've had 4 hours to get this done before my bedtime, and I haven't done it. I'm going to try a tiny bit longer and then hit the hay at midnight as planned. Be back for the early morning shift!!

  108. Wow... done... and posted! True, I have to be up in 6 hours, but I haven't had an ending to a sermon before bed in ages.

  109. Ugh. I really have to get my finger off the snooze button on Sunday mornings. It started a couple of weeks ago. 5:00 a.m. and a sermon to finish up. It'll get done for sure!

  110. Good morning, early birds and those of us who played tag with the snooze button a few too many time. On this cool rainy morning, it just felt too good to linger.

    I just poured a cup of coffee and am going to see if what I wrote yesterday looks good in the Sunday light. Help yourselves to a cup and also some of those fresh Lancaster County strawberries I put out.

    Grace and peace to each of you this day. What a privilege it is to serve God together in the church!

  111. Steel Wool....HAHAHAHAHAHAHA

    sorry, delayed reaction!

    Blessings for every one of you this day.


You don't want to comment here; instead, come visit our new blog, We'll see you there!

Note: Only a member of this blog may post a comment.