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Saturday, October 15, 2011

11th Hour Preacher Party: "Take Out a Sheet of Paper" Edition

Pop Quiz!I still remember the panic that erupted when the teacher started out the class with those two little words: "Pop quiz!"  Getting a sermon together can feel to me like being put on the spot like that.  The good news is that this is a place, unlike junior high, where it is perfectly fine to look off of each other's "papers" to get inspiration and ideas.  

This week, the Pharisees put Jesus to the test and Moses puts God to the test.  Perhaps this week of church life has put some of us to the test.  I don't know if it makes sense to ponder this, but I wonder if there is a connection between testing, testimony and feeling (or being) testy?!

It's your 11th Hour Preacher Party! You are each invited to share what you have and ask for what you need.  And please do link up your finished sermons so we can celebrate with you.

I just brewed some fair trade Nicaraguan French roast coffee, so help yourselves to a mug of that and some pumpkin spice muffins.  

Welcome to the party!


  1. Yeah! I'm first! I'm preaching the Thessalonians passage on the occasion of our annual Deacon's Mission Dinner. This is their "Thank You" to the congregation on behalf of the people and agencies and projects that we've supported with money and people-power. So I'm focusing on the "work of faith/labor of love/ patience of hope" phrase. And telling stories from the people whose lives got touched - including a Deacon or two.

  2. I'm preaching "An Unholy Empire" wrestling with monarchy (particularly in the Hawaiian context where is is still revered) and empire.

  3. Today is another one of those Saturday's that is full so I'm grateful for a sustainable sermon. It includes the concept that we are made in the image of God and so the "render unto God what is God's" means giving all of ourselves to God. That reminds me of the older movie with Steve Martin and Lily Tomlin "All of Me" where Lily's character has so clearly created and invested in a facade of who she is rather than an authentic self. The movie is a funny and poignant take on the question of "who am I?" and the essence of being. If I have time I'll get that into the sustainable sermon, if not I'll be grateful for a sustainable sermon!

    See you later

  4. Good morning, everyone!

    Cindy, the dinner sounds like a wonderful event and the Thessalonians intro will be great for that.

    Wil, I'm wondering if there is any "occupy" movement in Hawaii right now?

    Vicar, thanks for the reminder about "All of Me" and the question of how we see ourselves and what image we see and project.

    I'm also probably going to tweak a sustainable sermon that combines Thessalonians and the gospel. There was a death yesterday and a wedding today and, in week three of getting used to interim ministry again and a new congregation, I'm giving myself a little break.

    So happy all of you are here!

  5. Does anyone know the technical term for the questions that are "set up" questions (like "When did you stop beating your wife?")?

  6. Like ad hominem is when someone attacks someone's character instead of addressing the argument or point being argued. What's the term for questions that contain a presumption or assume facts not established?

  7. Mine (gospel text) turned out to be about giving, sort of: the small-souled approach with its orientation of limitation and its demarcation of everything into what-do-I-give and what-can-I-keep and the great-souled approach with its orientation of abundance and everything-is-God's. Thank you, Walter Brueggemann.

    Spending the major part of thre day at a Komen Breast Cancer Symposium and then there's a church dinner! So I had to get it completely finished by yesterday.

  8. hi. I'm on my way to the 7th grade confirmation this morning (not far away), and then coming back for our Saturday night worship service tonight.

    Sermon title: All of Me.

    though I was thinking of the song, not the movie.

    what I think about my sermon right now, is: it doesn't suck. Hope I feel differently later.

    Robin, "great-souled" -- I like that.

  9. Diane, have fun with those 7th graders! Sometimes not sucky is plenty good enough.

    Robin, nice to have the sermon done already! Yea, you!

    Vicar, I don't know what that's called. It reminds me of a "double bind" but that's not what you are looking for. I hope someone else will be able to help.

    I lost my coconut oil. That's not metaphorical. Or maybe it is. Or just funny. Going to continue the hunt!

  10. Found the coconut oil. Waffles are coming up!

    Vicar, I googled the question just to see and came up with "leading question" and "loaded question" as possible answers. Maybe that will ring a bell somewhere.

  11. Compared to the last eight weeks, today will be easy...just a sermon to prepare. Alas, we are still using Season of Creation...and the theme is "wilderness" - I need to reread the scripture since I can't remember what was selected for the day.

  12. Busy day ahead, but sermon writing is not on the agenda. I don't preach again until Reformation Sunday.
    Prayers for those who prepare, study, pray, write, and seek this day.

  13. A sermon I wrote for this week is in the current issue of Lectionary Homiletics, and I made a few more adjustments to it the other day and have to make myself believe it's ready to preach. kathrynzj and the Vicar said so.
    Meanwhile, I'm going to sit with the knitters at church this morning, then gather up some materials to prepare for Confirmation tomorrow. It's the first meeting with a new class, and I'm uncertain how many are coming, because people in this church do not respond ahead of time, mostly. I know of one girl, and we made the schedule to suit another, so hopefully both will come. It's not a church with a habit of doing Confirmation, so there's a learning curve.
    I'll check in later!

  14. Good morning, preachers! For the third week in a row, I'm not preaching (seminarian two weeks ago, vacation last week, and this week a guest giving a stewardship sermon.) Can I say I sort of miss it?

    Today I am hanging out in my office, being a pastoral presence on call for the diocesan safe church training taking place here today. And what I need to be doing is working on my sermon for NEXT Sunday since we have diocesan convention on Friday and Saturday. It is harder for me to stay on task when my deadline is so far ahead so having to be here in the office is probably a good long as I don't let myself get too distracted by other tasks.

    SB, I'm not familiar with Lectionary it a journal/magazine/book? Available online?

    Lots of donuts,bagels and muffins here. I'm sipping cinnamon tea myself.

  15. Thanks for the snack, RDM! It's good to have such a break that you miss preaching.

    Songbird, what a gift that your sermon is out there! Your confirmation class sounds like a "Field of Dreams" moment: If you offer it, they will come!

    1-4 Grace, thanks for stopping in to say Hi!

    My normally indoor cute kitty escaped to the outdoors when I went out to do a quick project. She thinks that the leaves dancing in the wind are her personal playground so she's in no rush to come back inside.

    I notice that *someone* tracked in a few muddy clumps so I go to clean up after myself. And then I'll have some of that cinnamon tea!

  16. I too am planning to use a sustainable sermon, with the same theme as the Vicar's...there may be some tweaking of said sermon, but I'm hoping it's mostly preachable as-is. I guess we'll find out.

    It's a gorgeous day here...too bad I don't have any food to share! Later today there will be apple cake, though. And maybe I can sneak some food out of the rabbi's sukkah tonight. ;-)

  17. It's been a crazy week - but aren't they all. Emergency hospital visit to Bismark Sunday for a parishioner in ICU, then I was sick on Monday. I spent the day in Bismark on Thurs doing some long distance shut in visits and missed my sis-in-law's message that hubby's grandma died after a 6 month battle with cancer. So yesterday, I found out that the funeral is TODAY at 3p and it's at least a 17 hour drive. So after much wrangling with airline schedules for hubby, greyhound schedules for daughter in Ohio, and a rush visit to the boy's high school, daughter is there and hubby is now half way to Indiana and the funeral. We decided that of us in SD only he should go - we just couldn't get it together for all of us to go.

    I feel exhausted and frazzled. All I want to do today is spend the day watching the NCIS marathon and lounging in my jammies. But I still have to print the bulletin, write a sermon and attend a 90th birthday open house this afternoon.

    Sharon - I would really love to see that sustainable sermon on Thessalonians and the gospel. That's where I think I am going and I can use all the help I can get!

    I did have a couple of hours to write late yesterday afternoon. My (very) rough draft is here. The last part is paticularly rough and I am not sure the transition between the gospel and Thessalonians works. I would appreciate any suggestions. My mind is just not on my sermon today.

    Rest in Jesus' arms, Grandma Miller!

  18. I took the weekend off to celebrate my Birthday! No sermon tomorrow wooo hoo. I have birthday cake to share if anyone would like to have some.

  19. Wow, Ramona! That is quite a week. My husband and I had to make similar decisions and arrangments at the end of Aug. when his mom, my MIL died after a long long illnesss. Always a compromise. Hope the day works out well for you with some rest thrown in to the mix of busy-ness.

    RevDrMom, yes, you can say that...I always miss preaching, too...even when I really need the Sunday off.nor am I able to really work that far out, but I will have to try when I face the same scenario at the end of Oct.

    I am sufficiently managing to avoid sermon prep altogether this morning. Not good.... Best try to focus my attention...

  20. Happy Birthday, GG! A week off of preaching sounds like a great present!

    Ramona, hugs and prayers for everything that you and your family are dealing with. I will post the sermon -- still un-tweaked -- for anyone who might find it helpful.

    Terri, you will be so ready when you finally do get going on your sermon!

  21. I should be working on next weeks sermon because I have a funeral and conference annual meeting next Saturday. But this girl just wants to have fun.

  22. Wow, everyone sounds really busy, as usual. Prayers winging your way Ramona. Terri, I know just how you feel about having to prepare so far out. i seem to need the pressure of a closer deadline to get things done. I got up and at it early this morning because I thought I'd have to drive some of our Youth to a Diocesan event, but as it turned out one of the Mom's offered to take them over and another to pick them up, so instead of working on this sermon at Starbucks, I'm in my office. So far I've got a rough draft put together, but it's too long and rambling, so I've got to figure out exactly what it is I'm trying to preach. I think I'll go make myself some tea.

  23. My sermon for tomorrow us up here.

    I forgot that it has a hefty dose of Moses at the beginning, but that could be adapted more toward the gospel, even there. I think it was the beginning of a series that I did on 1 Thessalonians three years ago. Feel free to use and adapt, Ramona or anyone, if it is helpful.

    I have tuna sandwiches and tomato soup for lunch. Help yourselves!

  24. I have a rough draft, going to do some yoga and meditate...then come back and work on it some more.

    I'd love a tuna sandwich and tomato soup when I return!

  25. Lectionary Homiletics is a bi-monthly publication by the people at, which is to say, the people who put on the Festival of Homiletics. earthchick writes for them, too. They have resources at the website, too, but they're available by subscription. For instance, I can't read my own sermon, because I let my subscription lapse! It's a little old school, definitely not Open Source, but I was pleased to be asked to contribute, nevertheless.

  26. I am pissed! After spending all week immersed in the texts in order to preach this weekend and developing some really good ideas, the rector called this morning to tell me that I don't HAVE to preach--the stewardship chair is going to speak. Grrrrr. I am still celebrating because the rector is out of town.

    Can't complain, at least it's a check.

    I may just write the sermon and post the sucker on my blog anyway. Going with Exodus and the backside of God. The Vicar talked about God's moon of Moses--but I am not of the mooning generation so I will talk about 'hindsight'.

  27. Muthah+ - 'hindsight!' I love it.

    I'm still trying to get the bulletin together, and the prayers and text notes for the scripture readings, but it's slow going. The birthday party setup crew have arrived and I've already been interrupted twice. Although the daughters grew up in this church, it's been a long time and they can't remember where things are, or things have been moved. And of course, having been here only 3 months, I don't know either. I think we should have assigned someone from the birthday girl's women's circle to be there to help with prep questions! Ah well, another excuse to put off serious sermon writing until this evening.

  28. I just realized that I put my rough draft on my blog and then forgot to publish it! I fixed it and the(very)rough draft can be read here. As I said before, the last part is paticularly rough and I am not sure the transition between the gospel and Thessalonians works.

    Comments, suggestions and criticisms very much desired. I am not at my sermon writing best today and can use all the help I can get.

    Thanks Sharon for posting the link to your sermon. I will be mining it for ideas (would it be bad to just cut and paste chunks of it? probably!) when I start writing in earnest.

  29. Cut and paste all you want, Ramona! It will have your own glue sticking it together. Thank you for your nice comment there, too.

    I have to leave for a little while to go up on the mountain to officiate at a wedding. I'll check back in a couple of hours from now.

    I'll stop by the store for some celebration ice cream for everyone!

  30. I love it here, Mooning and hindsight - where else can you find that "view"? I'm back from the CROP walk. I didn't do the full 6 miles. I knew my poor feet wouldn't take it so I walked about 4 - enough. Great conversation with someone from another church while I waited for our group.
    I wrote yesterday using the OT alternative Isaiah 45. Now I need to edit, but first a shower and that tea sounds like a great idea.
    (and I'm updating my iPad to ios5)

    Blessings to you and the family, Ramona.

  31. Hello gals and pals! I have missed posting here and catching up on bust Saturdays...there's no such thing as an idle pastor, is there?

    I've been moving slowing, theologically/emotionally. There's been a crisis at the church where I do my secular work, but because it's the same denomination I pastor in, there have been repercussions all around--and it's hit me emotionally, as well. The senior pastor resigned, who was a friend and mentor. So I am sort of putting together a new reality in many ways. However, that was a couple weeks ago and I am seeing a light at the end of the tunnel.

    Today I had a pre-wedding meeting with a lovely couple I am going to enjoy working with--articulate, both of them involved and excited about the wedding, a great relationship... Good feelings about that.

    The sermon--not so much. I'm preaching on Thessalonians and the Gospel, and frankly, I'm feeling like I've run out of "image of God" ideas. I don't want to do a sustainable sermon, since I didn't preach last week, I have no excuse...but no mojo this afternoon. Like Ramona, I want to just curl up with tea and a good book. Whine over.

    Hoping for Antonio to stop by with that sermon anytime now...

    I have hot chocolate and grilled cheese for anyone who wants a late lunch.

  32. Sharon, there is an occupy Honolulu movement. I'm addressing it and the larger phenomenon as well.

  33. NancyFitz, you get some interesting 'views' around revgals, for sure.

    I posted what I wanted to say

  34. Hello everyone...been randomly puttering around the house and the web for a while. Trying to get up the energy to get to work on this sermon. It's been a bizarre week (for many of us, I see!) and energy is just low in general.

    I have a great ending in my head but nothing else. Think people will mind if I just go straight there and make it a two-minutes sermon? I thought I had a sustainable sermon to at least glance at, but while I've preached this day in years B and C, apparently I have never preached in year A. What's that all about??

    I think I will go procure some food and some hot tea and then try to get to work.

  35. well, I am just sitting down to ponder and write. the name of my sermon is "occupy!" and I will wandering about the movement. I am planning on using the Isaiah text, because it made so much sense to me on Monday when I was worship planning, and now I am wondering what kind of drugs was I on?

    after worship, we are having an adult forum with two people from the Occupy Boston are going to speak--one, a former seminary intern, has been living in Dewey Square since the beginning!

    but now, oh....needin' some writing fairies to come and write the sermon.

  36. I ended up getting a last-minute invitation to to with ring member Elsa Peters to Occupy Maine. We listened to speakers and musicians and then marched with the group. Betsy, if you're out there today, I finally wore one of the tab collars you sent to me!

  37. I have escaped the house for a few hours, thanks to hubby not having to preach tomorrow. I fear that I am reveling too much in the silence and solitude and not getting much done after all. I'm actually sitting in his church office--it's funny to look at piles of work that aren't mine!

    I have piles of work, because I'm temporarily filling in for the children's ministry director, whose husband had emergency heart surgery while they were out of town. Just doing the minimum to keep things going, but still. I am reminded I don't want that job ever again. Yes, I can do it, but I really don't like it.

    Ahem. On to Caesar.

  38. Here's the Revised Songbird Version of my own darn sermon: Heads? or Tails?
    I've got to make dinner happen somehow.

  39. SB, glad to know they came in handy!

    I have been MIA for a month or so as we have hosted an Australian high school exchange student and life has been crazy busy all the time. He leaves on Monday and we are all so sad; it feels like having part of the family shipped off for an indeterminate time.

    Now I am trying to get tomorrow's sermon done without very much "try" in the effort. I have a start, about 1/3, but it just sort of wanders around like the Israelites. I want to get to Moses and my envy of his relationship with God--so intimate, so direct, so trusting--and what it would take for us to be/have the same. I'm not sure my intro is going to take me there, but for the meantime it's all I have and I'm sticking with it.

    Of course, I spent plenty of time this week learning to use Keynote on my new (50th b'day gift) iPad! I have a short presentation to use with the class I'm teaching tomorrow; I'm not sure it adds a whole lot, but I know they will humor me in the learning process :-) The advantages of 12+ years in one place, where it doesn't quite feel like so much is riding on any one thing.

    I am now going to read sermons to which you all have linked in the hope I can get mine back on the path to the promised land. Fabulous Fuji apples from the tree in the yourself!

  40. Ok. Mine is posted in the wilderness

    Although I think I may change the title to "Being Wilderness" ....

    Soon I will be around to read a few more offerings here...

  41. Last Sunday two men connected with our church folks - both dads of young children - took their own lives. Attended one funeral, led the other today after overnight confirmation retreat. Tonight I have to keep reminding myself that tomorrow is Sunday and a sermon will be expected. Sigh. Coffee?

  42. omgoodness, Pastor Lyn.
    Two suicides?
    My heart breaks for your community,
    and my prayers are for you.

    Perhaps, just reading some scriptures might be comforting?

  43. When you get to this point on Saturday and you (me) don't really like the sermon, what then? sigh.

  44. well, I have 700 plus words. And outline for the rest.
    So I watch a movie, and get up really, really, really early.

  45. Pastor Lynn! Oh my. I will hold you, and your community, in my prayers.

    Nancy, if you are at this point in time and you don't like your sermon, sometimes you just have to let go and hope that the words will speak to someone, even if they aren't speaking to you...

  46. Oh Pastor Lynn... how awful! praying for you and your community- God's peace when there are no words for so many hard emotions. Grateful that I know when I do not have words the Spirit prays with sighs too deep for words... I suspect it feels impossible right now but I pray you will take care of yourself as well through this emotionally overwhelming time.

  47. Pastor Lynn, I am so sorry. My heart and my prayers go out to you and your community.

  48. Pastor Lynn, it sounds like you and the rest of the community are fatigued by grief. Maybe it's time to set aside whatever was planned and do something that gives people (including you) a simple place to rest. (I realize that doesn't make it any easier though!)

    Personally, I'm wondering if I should listen when the Holy Spirit leads me to read something that disturbs me. On the U.S. motto of "In God we trust," found on all our currency, I just read on Wikipedia:

    'In Lynch v. Donnelly (1984), the Supreme Court upheld the motto because it has "lost through rote repetition any significant religious content".'

    Wow. Disturbing that the motto is considered okay to use because it doesn't actually have anything to do with God anymore. I am pondering if and how this might be part of the sermon.

  49. I've was at a regional women's event most of the day, then at the home of a parishioner who died while I was at said event. I couldn't leave to be with her family right away since I was preaching, presiding, and leading the afternoon discussion groups. They were OK with that. I sat with her for a bit each day this week knowing her days were drawing close.

    I'm doing Isaiah and Cyrus tomorrow with the idea that God sometimes surprises us with who is chosen to carry out God's purposes. I'd greatly appreciate a good "don't judge a book by its cover" story (with people as the example, nit actually a book) real or fictional (novel, movie, etc). Once I have that as a good way in, I think I'm good to go with the rest of this. Ultimately I'm going for a sermon that calls for us to drop the demonizing tendencies with "the other side" in politics, church arguments, daily life. Isaiah doesn't necessarily go all the way there, but I think Jesus does. Thessalonians is my secondary text, and I'll use the mention that the Thessalonians themselves were once the least likely people to be chosen by God (idol worshipers).

    Maybe I need a good "least likely to succeed" story that went the other direction...

  50. This comment has been removed by the author.

  51. Yikes! The wedding was a non-church wedding at a hall almost an hour from my house. The ceremony started late and then everything else about it was late, including the meal which I had promised to bless. I didn't even stay to eat it. Driving home at night on winding roads took even longer.

    Maybe some hot cocoa would help.

    Pastor Lynn, I add my prayers and cyber-hugs to those already out there. What incredibly horrible news!

    Nancy, when I get to that point, it's hard for me not to panic. I hope you are able to take a little breather. Sometimes just letting it go for a little bit brings some clarity or inspiration.

    A movie for revkjarla! Enjoy!

    Welcome back, Betsy, and thanks for the apples! I'm so curious about how RevGals are using iPads and other technology for fun and for ministry.

    Waving to SemFem and Mutha+ and Terri and Celeste and esperanza! That sounds like "Romper Room" (dating myself) and I truly hope I haven't missed greeting anyone. Thanking Songbird and Wil for connections to the "Occupy" happenings.

    I'm going to follow some of those sermon links now and enjoy what you all have put up.

  52. Pastor Lynn, I'm so sorry about the deaths in your community and the cloud of grief.

    SemFem, Thanks for the Wikipedia info. It may help.

    It's 6:15 my time and still not even a blank new document. I know there's something cooking about fear and love and the coin of the realm, but I just can't seem to get the start of it. Maybe I'll go to Garrison Keillor's Fear Monger Shop turned box store. Husband gone--no pressure to cook or eat dinner. But it is late for me. HELP

  53. Hi,
    sounds like most of you are busy working on Sunday services. I'm home after worship led by the Sunday School, or the few who turned up. The Sunday School leader did a great worship service. I'm off preaching for a few more weeks, STudy leave and Annual leave; and like some others I will miss preaching.

    see you all in a few weeks.

  54. Pastor Lynn, I am so very sorry.

    There is some stuff on my blog about death from suicide, if any of it is of any use to anyone in your community.

  55. Greetings to Robin and RevAlli and pearl and SheRev! Glad to see you!

    RevAlli, we are here for you. You said "cook" a few times in that paragraph. Is there something in that metaphor that might get you started, even if you toss it out later? A "recipe" perhaps? Just a thought that came to mind as I read what you wrote.

    I'm putting on the kettle and setting out a variety of tea bags and instant cocoa which isn't too bad, I think, when I add a little milk to it. Help yourselves!

  56. Lynn, my heart and prayers go out to you and your community. Words simply fail....

    The clean up from the birthday party is finally over and I got the mic volume reset (I hope) to where it won't feedback on me tomorrow. Another item for my congregational wish list: a portable sound system (aka karoke machine) so we don't have to crank the sound up in the sanctuary in order to use it in the fellowship hall.

    I still have no motivation to polish off the rough parts of my sermon. So, I'll go read your sermons and pray for inspiration.

    Could this please be an early night?

  57. She Rev the formatting is messed up but here's a story

    Whose Boy Are You?
    One of the great preachers of our time is Dr. Fred Craddock. Craddock tells a story about vacationing with his wife one summer in Gatlinburg, Tennessee. One night they found a quiet little restaurant, where they looked forward to a private meal. While they were waiting for their food, they noticed a distinguished looking, white-haired man moving from table to table, visiting with the guests. Craddock leaned over and whispered to his wife, "I hope he doesn’t come over here." He didn’t want anyone intruding on their privacy. But sure enough, the man did come over to their table. "Where you folks from?" he asked in a friendly voice.
    "Oklahoma," Craddock answered.
    "Splendid state, I hear, although I’ve never been there," the stranger said.
    "What do you do for a living?"
    "I teach homiletics at the graduate seminary of Phillips University," Craddock replied.
    "Oh, so you teach preachers how to preach, do you? Well, I’ve got a story to tell you." And with that, the gentleman pulled up a chair and sat down at the table with Craddock and his wife.
    Dr. Craddock said he groaned inwardly and thought to himself, "Oh, no! Here comes another preacher story! It seems like everybody has at least one."

    The man stuck out his hand. "I’m Ben Hooper," he said. "I was born not far from here across the mountains. My mother wasn’t married when I was born, so I had a pretty hard time. When I started to school, my classmates had a name for me, and it wasn’t a very nice name. I used to go off by myself at recess and lunch time because the things they said to me cut me so deep. What was worse was going to town on Saturday afternoons and feeling like every eye was burning a hole through me, wondering just who my father was.
    "When I was about 12 years old, a new preacher came to our church. I would always go in late and slip out early. But one day the preacher said the benediction so fast I got caught and had to walk out with the crowd. I could feel every eye in the church on me. Just about the time I got to the door I felt a big hand on my shoulder. I looked up and the preacher was looking right at me. ‘Who are you, son? Whose boy are you?’ he asked. I felt this big weight coming down on me. It was like a big black cloud. Even the preacher was putting me down. But as he looked down at me, studying my face, he began to smile a big smile of recognition. ‘Wait a minute!’ he said. ‘I know who you are. I see the family resemblance now. You are a child of God.’ With that he slapped me across the rump and said, ‘Boy, you’ve got a great inheritance. Go and claim it.’
    The old man looked across the table at Fred Craddock and said, "Those were the most important words anybody ever said to me, and I’ve never forgotten them." With that, he smiled shook hands with Craddock and his wife, and moved on to another table to greet old friends.
    And as he walked away, Craddock – a native Tennesseean himself – remembered from his studies of Tennessee history that on two occasions the people of Tennessee had elected to the office of governor men who had been born out of wedlock. One of them was a man named Ben Hooper.
    Whose child are you? "You are a child of God." You have a great inheritance. Go and claim it. Be a person of faith, hope and love and you will be all right.

    now back to the game ... see you later

  58. Hmmm... 9 pm and I am just now signing into the party. I am completely unmotivated this week. Last Sunday we had a marvelous service at both churches (baptisms and remembering our baptisms) but this week is much less exciting.

    Preaching on the 10 Commandments (as we continue our slow journey through Exodus), which I dislike because it perpetuates the notion that the Bible is a rulebook for living, an idea that I don't always subscribe to.

    I have some organic grapes and a bit of coffee. I might break out some gin & tonic in a bit.

  59. Pastor Lynn, as you know too well, words fail, may you all know the presence of God with you

  60. Welcome to the party, La Peregrina, and thanks for the snacks, including the party drinks for later!

    I've been nodding off with the book I am reading so I'm taking that as a sign that it's time to turn in for the night. I'm still getting used to having an early worship service at 8:00 a.m.

    Keep the party going and leave the light on for the early early risers.

    I'll be back to see who's around in the morning!

    Sweet dreams and may God bless your preparation and your proclamation.

  61. Rocking my world and writing my sermon once again, Vicar! Thanks!

    Add teach my 6 year old how to knit and pull her first tooth out to the list of things I did tonight.

    Time for that sermon plan, although Vicar just helped tremendously!!!

    Sharon, I do TONS of my ministry related work on the iPad. Tons! It was wonderful today when I was using an old sermon at a women's gathering and I wanted to make some changes while listening to the speakers before me. I am paperless at meetings, in worship leadership. Love snapping pictures of things I see to bring back and share... Endless uses.

  62. Vicar, great story! I need to remember it for a sermon , soon!

    I am heading to bed, so I can try to be bright-eyed tomorrow...sleep well, friends. And know that the Holy Spirit has your back.

  63. OK, sermon has been updated and renovated, other "job" items accomplished. Amazing how much I can do when my only interruptions are self-induced! Last load of laundry is drying, so I'm going to sign out.

    Blessings to the RevNightOwls, and many prayers for you and your community, Pastor Lynn.

  64. That Fred Craddock story? Totally filing it away for future use. Yay!

    I have a beginning, but am sort of stumping along, not really focused. Maybe it's time for one of those reward systems that others post about here sometimes...write for 20 minutes, play a game on Facebook for 5...etc. Anything to make progress!

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  66. Why is it I never like my endings? I feel like I just can't "close the deal." (heavy sigh)

    The (mostly)final draft of Putting on Faith is posted and printed. I can't tell you all how much I value your input and friendship at these preaching parties - especially on a day like today when my heart is elsewhere. Thank you.

    I'm going to try to get an uninterupted night of sleep - not an easy task on a Saturday night. Blessing to you who continue to write. I'll be back tomorrow to get my spiritual fix!

  67. Thanks, Sharon. I cooked a good dinner for myself and now have over 200 words. Am tempted to call the sermon, "It's not about the taxes, stupid". But that title is part of the ungenerous spirit I think Jesus confronts. Seeing the interchange as an invitation. Hope to finish before the dogs demand a walk.

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  69. In to the party late...been at a pumpkin patch most of the day with my husband and son.
    Fun times, but now I'm in this late, plus a cold.
    Late night coffee, anyone?

  70. That's one of my favorite parts of the preacher party! I consider it "our" version of running next door for a cup of sugar :)

  71. I hope Google is right on this one, but I also have a link that tells me Erin Brokovich (the real one) was voted least likely to succeed. Gee with that story, Cyrus' story, Craddock, and Thessalonians, I think I've got a sermon.

  72. Made some struggling with how to explain the historical parts clearly and simply...ugh!

    I've broken out the peanut butter MnM's and am more than willing to share...

  73. Took boys to youth retreat, tested out iPad on big screen TV, talked at length to friends, meandered all around Target, watched a Frontline with my husband, and now it's 9:15 and I'm wondering where the day went and why I don't have a sermon ;-)

    So, here I am, at least comforted by having company. SemFem, those M&M's sound fabulous. Leftover lasagna, anyone?

  74. Done planning for the night. Will check in again in the morning to be sure everything is still in order. Will also hopefully have a chance to re-preview the adult ed DVD for the morning. Doing the 6 week DVD study of Phyllis Tickle's Great Emergence stuff. Should be interesting.

  75. Glad to share the MnM's with you, Betsy! The lasagna sounds delicious too...if only I hadn't already eaten! Maybe tomorrow.

    I've got 914 words and am trying to wrap it up. I still have that conclusion in my head, but need to get it out on paper...and soon! before fatigue takes over!

    Hope everyone else out there is either finished or finishing up.

  76. Almost. there. Which is a good thing, as I am also almost asleep! Working Preacher, along with some pondering over Muthah's hindsight idea, helped lead me out of the wilderness; now I just need to cross the Jordan. I am not one who can trust herself to be open to the Spirit's leading at 6 AM, so it needs to be now. Think another game of Mahjong will help get me there?

    Prayers for you all, and especially for you, Lyn, as you help share the weight of your community's tragedy and grief.

  77. Yawn . . . and stretch . . .

    I'm kinda awake. Anyone else here? I just put on some coffee and have this idea that I need to do a semi-major tweak on the already blog-published sermon.

    That, plus some praying for all of us this Sunday morning.

    Good morning!

  78. I finished, then fell asleep for a few hours while polishing and doing a final read-through...just woke up and finished that off. Maybe I can go grab another hour of sleep (in my bed) before I need to get up and get going.

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

  79. good morning! sipping coffee and finishing up over here...kitty and doggy sitting with me, helping me find the right words....(along with the Holy Spirit)

    Peace and passion to all of us!

  80. A snooze or two too many leaves me with just about an hour to make sure it's all together still. I've been doing parts in my head for the last snooze or so, too, so I guess that counts, too. Might have time to sneak a LITTLE more Adult Ed prep in, too, but I'm not counting on it. Maybe while doing my make-up a little later.

    Peace to all!

  81. Over an hour before the afternoon service, and I've just finished the final touches. This is far too close a call for me. Presiding at one of the morning services, presenting at the Vestry meeting, and a short romp with the dogs.

    Preaching on the coin of fear and the coin of love. Interesting--had my fear button pushed just a while ago. I'm living the challenge in this sermon.

    Have a good week!


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