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Saturday, October 01, 2011

11th Hour Preacher Party: Wide World Edition

It's Saturday.

Do you know where in the wide world your sermon is? If you're following the lectionary, there are some big texts to consider ... and to explain.

Let's try and find our words together. Share what's going on for you today in the comments. Let us know if you have a brilliant Children's Word in mind. Are you observing World(wide) Communion Sunday? If so, how?

It's the season for apple cider donuts here, so I'll keep those on the table and make sure the coffee is hot and fresh. With God's help and the support of this community, we'll get our sermons done!


  1. I hope my friends in other parts of the world will forgive me for this late start. After the hardest funeral of my career and another memorial service later in the day, I fell asleep early last night and forgot to start the party.
    This morning there is another funeral at my church. We're sort of being borrowed, and a neighboring colleague is taking the lead on the service, but I need to get there early and make sure all is hospitable. I'm hoping to work in my office this morning, but frankly have nothing but a title at this point. The week has been far too full.

  2. Thanks for the coffee and donuts, Martha! Great way to start the day!

    We are here for you with prayers and hugs and (I hope) some inspiration. To sleep can be good medicine when stress and sadness are at a high.

    I don't have much more than a title either, but I woke up with illusions of tackling a certain before-winter garden project.

    But first, another cup of that coffee!

  3. Songbird prayers of strength and sustanance this weekend.

    World Communion Sunday is one of my favorite days of the church year. I love to lay cloths from different nations on the commuion table and serve breads from around the world for communion. Beloved and I had an interesting conversation this morning, we wondered if garlic bread counts as an international bread. Could make for an interesting coffee hour. :)

  4. Songbird, sounds like a tiring week.
    For me it has been a week of meetings. This ’sermon’ feels a bit like a cop out, but I couldn't decide on the Psalm or Exodus, so did both. I did preach on Exodus a few weeks ago, so realized that was where a lot of my ideas were from.
    Daylight savings starts tonight, so an early night is needed. This is also the middle of a long weekend in the middle of school holidays, so I have no idea of how many people will be at worship in the morning.
    Apple cider donuts? I am intrigued!

  5. They're very tasty, pearl! So glad to see you here, as you were the first person on my mind when I realized I was late starting the party.
    Thanks, G_G. I recommend keeping garlic bbread away from grape juice, especially if you're doing intinction.
    Sharon, thanks for your prayers, too. Is this your first Sunday in a new place?
    I'm drinking coffee. Hoping it will help with everything. The funeral director for this morning's service reports a massive hive near the right entry door. I couldn't figure out what he meant--allergic reaction? No, wait! Bees!!!! Lovely.

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  7. Bees (shudders). I am so scared of bees. I had a bee fly up the sleeve of my robe during the hymn before the sermon. Everyone thought I was doing a holy dance.

  8. I'm posting this as I rush out the door. I haven't even left and I'm already late. But the dogs still need to out and the rescue dog is sure to be frightened since there are multiple marching bands warming up across the back fence. And the sun isn't even up yet!

    I'm contemplating having a lengthy children's time so I can have a really short sermon.

    I'll be back later. Hopefully I can write something during the breaks of today's ridiculously long workshop for which I have responsibility of one part or maybe two and a board meeting in the middle.

  9. Songbird prayers for energy and focus . Now bees! Sunday afternoon holy nap perhaps?
    Former church had a massive swarm take over a tree flanking the entrance. Honestly looked like a horror movie f/x...
    Have only a title and a desire of our worship team to promote giving to our local food shelf. No sermon energy. Right now no anything energy... in the middle of wider church messy stuff. Prayers appreciated. It is going to be rough water for a while.
    Also yesterday was the one year anniversary of my father's death. Did not expect to be overwhelmed by tears constantly.

  10. SB, prayers for you!! Glad that difficult funeral is behind you.

    I'm preaching Exodus today, but only focusing on one commandment - the Sabbath - and feeling very inadequate for this task. I have no coherent words yet and don't know when they might come.

    It is cold and rainy here but today is the day I do my long run so I'm going to make myself get out there and do it. Am hoping it will help get my brain in gear for the day. I'll be back when I'm done.

  11. I am off lectionary the next two Sunday's for stewardship. Using the Ten Commandments from Exodus and the I Kings story of the widow sharing her resources with Elijah.

    Prior to the commandments God calls the people "segullah"...precious treasure or jewel. Tying it together with making bread and next week sharing bread.

    Going to make banana bread with the kids (and adults). Each ingredient has a "precious treasure" function in the bread...and in the church.

    Using the communion liturgy to tie in Worldwide communion. Our bread maker is making Jewish Challah for us to break.

  12. ahhhh, it has been a long time between preaching engagements for me, as I desperately try to focus on my thesis... and ages since I've dropped in here on a Saturday for the preacher party company.
    Have been missing you gals 'n pals.

    I'm going with Exodus along a similar line to Pearl - and I thank her in advance as I shamelessly plunder that great quote at the start of her reflection! Sermon title... I did have a couple in my head that amused me, but thought I should behave. I've gone for 'love God and do what you like' - how could one ever go wrong with good old Augy?
    Had initially wondered about 'Go ahead, punk, make my day' - God in Clint Eastwood mode, waiting for us punks to mess it up... :)
    Alternatively, a Schwarzenegger /Terminator themed title: 'come with me if you want to live'...
    Yeah, so you see why I chose Aug. in the end!!!!!
    So, a title, a quote, ideas in need of a structure... hmmm.
    Also a large bag of sugar donuts to share - dig in, enjoy :)

  13. Equally long week here. Hosted the vestry and spouses for dinner at the rectory last night, 17 people. Made all the food, days worthe of prepping house and food. But good, too..good for building relationship and thanking people for their hard work.

    I also have a Service of Commitment this afternoon, culminating months of counseling sessions and preparation. They are a lovely couple and I look forward to Officiating at this service we created, blending portions of the BCP marriage ceremony and a ceremony created by another RevGal.

    But that means I need to work on two sermons. Both are in solid draft form. But both need work.

    Oh, and if this were not enough....we are off Lectionary using Season of Creation, 2nd Sunday.

    Songbird, holding you in prayer....having lived through a couple of very difficult funerals, myself. Hoping you have a little time to grieve, rest, care for yourself, so you can recharge and care for others...or, whatever you may need at this time.

  14. Bees. Songbird? shudder! I sympahtize.

    It is a rare and priceless treasure for a preacher in the pulpit for less than an year to have a sustainable sermon (from internship) and even more precious when that sermon happens for the assigned lectionary for the Sunday after a 3 day conference! So fortunatly my sermon is monsty done - the ending seems to need some work yet.

    I wish I could say the same for the rest of stuff I need to do. My desk is about half uncovered from being gone, so today will be spent doing detail paperwork. And getting the bulletin and calendar finished. And processing some squash and pumpkin and other cooking tasks. And laundry. And maybe I can finally get the lily bulbs in the ground! Still, it's nice to not have to worry about the sermon.

    Steel-cut oats with cranberries and honey (a good bee-by-product) and iced coffee are on the table for anyone needing to break their fast!

  15. Nik - I love, love, LOVE the idea of God with a Arnold accent saying "come with me if you want to live." It's perfect! I wish I was writing that sermon.

  16. I heart World Communion Sunday. When I was a newly returned missionary, I got to preach it all the time.
    Now that we have a "foreigner" for a HoS, my cache is lost. ;-)
    I have a lot going on too (though no funerals...holding you all in the light) so I'm not entirely sad to not be preaching. I did get to create an amazing world communion video invitation-to-the-table, and that will be enough of a contribution from me. I also have to teach the Inquirer's Class this week during the 2nd service, and Confirmation begins a regular schedule at last...and I suppose I need a children's time.

    But, most importantly, in a couple of hours I have an appointment to be fitted for my dress for my best friend's wedding! :-) Therefore, there will be no food in my house until dinner time. But check back then. LOL.

  17. at this point, Ramona, I wish I was writing anything...!
    *must not get distracted, must not get dis...oooh, a butterfly...*

  18. My kitteh is laying on my Bible and my commentary at the same time. Guess I have to stop sermonating.

  19. Service of Commitment homily done. Now, on to sermon for Sunday...looking at Season of Creation Sunday 2A - Theme - "land" readings include Genesis and the snake....Romans and sin. Goodness. I think I will do some research on land fills recycling, and consider what it means when we refuse to be accountable (Adam blames Eve, who blames the snake, who may have blamed the tree, who may have blamed the apple, who may have blamed the seed, who may have blamed the soil?...). And, the consequences of our actions, known our unknown?

  20. Baby is fed and sleeping. Dog is fed and sleeping. Husband is at work.
    And I've got a pot of coffee and a desire to tackle the Matthew passage.
    My hope is to find a word of peace in the midst of violence.

    Songbird, I empathize with you...series of funerals are never easy, but most especially when at least one of them is personally difficult. You're in my prayers.

  21. Like Ramona, I have a sustainable sermon that needs a bit of fluffing and airing out to make it fresh again. It was from my internship too, so I know it is well though out after having been vetted and discussed after - oh to have that luxury after preaching now.
    Celeste, I am caught off guard more often now on teary days to realize that it's an anniversary of my brother's death 11 years ago. Now my body remembers that day more than my calendar. I was there in late August.
    (((SB))) nothing more to offer except the prayers I have been saying for you this week.
    My sermon for tomorrow winds around to the fact that the vineyard work is not ours. It is not our vineyard. Part of the fluffing will be adding in Oscar Romero's prayer as is on the slow church blog page. It works well inviting us to see the bigger pictures - relaxing into to the work we are given to do as humans in our time, but ultimately realizing that God is the owner, not us. "The kingdom is not only beyond our efforts, it is beyond our vision." In the very anxious diocese we dwell in, this should indeed be good news.
    Off to read Pearl's sermon. I already have calendar for 2014 marked with "our stories" as a sermon series on all the wonderful Hebrew stories we've had in the OT portions of the lectionary this year.

  22. Rough draft is finished. I was going to go with a sustainable sermon but I read it and thought meh, then I wrote a new sermon and thought meh. So I combined the two and have a double meh. If you have any ideas on how I can improve this sermon any feedback would be greatly appreciated. You can read it here.

  23. Why do I even bother to comment when Google insists on eating my words?

    back to work I guess. Prayers for you SB

  24. Oh you are all SO industrious -- SB holding you up in the post-funeral exhaustion -- all that and BEES too (I love the thought of the church breaking out in hives, though...that may get me through today).
    Guest preaching as vacation-supply for another clerge. With usual arrogance, tackling all three readings AND the Psalm...a sort of title: "It all started out as a love-song"...and looking at the readings as if they were a really snazzy TV crime drama which starts in the middle, and then goes flashback to the beginning, and then sweeps us thro' the crisis (with a murder victim at the focus of attention), and then the denouement.
    I've got espresso -- I've just made myself a ham/onion scramble with avocado on the side, and stand ready to make more as requested!
    Meantime scheduling a bit of flash-shopping to complete the C.A.R.E parcel going off to Number One Son this weekend, courtesy of Number Two Son and The One and Only Daughter-in-Law... a trifle divided in mind, I am, at this moment.

  25. Hi, y'all. I'm home. I was able to slip away and let my colleague be the pastor to her people. God bless the wonderful folks at my church putting on receptions two days in a row. They told *me* to go home and put my feet up!
    When I got home, 16yo and her dad had stopped by (she's at his house on Saturdays) and taken Hoagie Dog for a walk. I'm grateful for their help and understanding the past few days.
    Next on my agenda: lunch and maybe a little nap.
    Thank you for your prayers. I have some ideas for tomorrow (thanks, kathrynzj, for listening to them on the phone!), and I even spoke some of them into the recorder on my phone. Hopefully when I feel a little more rested, the words will flow.

  26. Who said they had coffee? I sure could use some more my friends.

    I've swapped texts with next week, because I have a week coming up that sounds like what many of you are having today. So I will use my sustainable sermon on the vineyard next week and focus on unity/World Communion and Phil 4 for tomorrow.

    (I do have some chocolate tho..)

  27. Songbird, hope you are able to rest, - that the mind is not so overstimulated that it cannot find peace.

    One sermon done (service of commitment) and second sermon in a state where it can perculate for a few hours.

    Now, home to eat, shower, and get ready for the "wedding." A historic day in my congregation! And, just for the occasion, the rain clouds have blown away and the sun is out!

  28. I need coffee, too, Nancy! Been sitting here starting at a blank screen and *nothing* is coming.

    I am struggling on such a deep level with this sermon - I'm focusing on the 4th commandment - I feel such longing and such guilt about the invitation to keep Sabbath.

    I feel like I have lot of things that need to get said, but figuring out how to start is daunting, and figuring out how to say it all is daunting too.

  29. OK, RevGals, I could use some advice or encouragement here. Last week I preached on God enabling us to will and to work for his good pleasure (Philippians).I’ve started something this week with the vineyard theme along the lines of “We can see that God has given us all we need to be fruitful, so let’s go do it!” (We’re going with Isaiah 5 and Psalm 80 rather than the Exodus reading, so it’s definitely the vineyard theme.) Is that too easy? And it’s not too different from last week.

    I’m stuck in my little one-track mind here and wondering if I am just avoiding the difficult parts and wandering into the territory of cheap grace. I just don’t like all those passages that could potentially be interpreted “behave or be squashed,” which doesn’t really fit with my image or experience of God. Theological and historical answers do not a sermon make. So what’s a preacher to do?

    So while I was eating lunch (I can offer Haitian rice and beans and some leftover cheesecake!), I ended up with a song running through my head with new and pertinent lyrics. I share it for your amusement. Feel free to sing along with me.

    Proper 22A - The Preacher’s Dilemma
    (sung to the tune of What do you do with a BA in English?)

    What do you do with the threats in the Bible?
    What is my take going to be?
    The vineyard’s been planted,
    Good weather God’s granted,
    But we have neglected to weed.

    It’s easy to say,
    “He forgives; it’s ok.”
    Is this getting off too easily?

    At what point does God shake
    His head; say, “I can’t take
    How your words aren’t followed in deed!”?

  30. Sarah, good questions! And as an old English major, the clear answer to that is go to seminary...

  31. So should I write another version of "I wish I could go back to seminary?" :-D

  32. Earthchick, I posted a link on my blog to Barbara Brown Taylor's article on Sabbath. Maybe it will help the blank screen. Meanwhile, I'm obviously not listening to her on "Sabbath" as I worked part of all the days this week and yet feel like I've been goofing off.
    some lunch then back to my stuff.

  33. Nancy, thank you! I had thought of that article a couple of days ago but knew I didn't have the hard copy anymore and meant to look it up online (but had forgotten). Thanks!!

    I absolutely resonate with what you have said, as I have done the same - worked part of all days this week yet feel like I've been goofing off. ARGH.

  34. Yes, and I just re-read the article a bit slower and now feel even guiltier. But still need to write my sermon. Is there any hope that my "listeners" tomorrow will pay more attention to me than I'm paying to BBT's "sermon"? ((more sighs))

  35. SB, YAY for your people, and glad the difficult funeral is behind you.

    SUCH a long time since I've joined you all for the preacher's party. Friday I was at a workshop about insurance. Have you haerd the saying, "Old pastors never die, they just sell insurance?" Sigh. Anyhow, a long time frend/acquaintance came in, sat across the room from me and didn't "see" me. I waved at him, and he stared at me and then said, "Pastor Dorcas! What are you doing here?" Good question.

    I had no idea how much I'd miss the prep and the preaching...but onward and upward. Tomorrow I am preaching at prison, so I am sermonating today. Except I'm not. Maybe I'm just out of practice, but my mind is a total blank.

    Well, offering some wonderful and aromatic struesel cake coffee and hoping checking out some of your sermons hoping for some inspiration.

  36. Songbird, glad you are surrounded by thoughtful and caring people.

    I am preaching at a new supply congregation tomorrow, so I don't really know what to expect. I requested that the bulletin be emailed, but...haven't seen it yet.

    I was going to recycle a Ten Commandments sermon, but I read it last night and had NO IDEA what I meant by most of it. I think that means I'm starting over tonight.

    It's eldest's fourth birthday today, we've been to the big town festival/parade this morning, and we're napping it off now. Yes, that means me too, I think.

    I'll be back with the Night Owls, I have a feeling.

  37. I have a desktop! It was hiding there all the time under the paper mountian that grew there. So I feel like I've got something accomplished.

    And the last load of the 3 day laundry extravangaza is in the washer! Another victory!

    I still have to get the bulletins ready to print, ditto for the calendar and the final revision on the sermon. But it's coming along.

    I have chili relleno casserole and fresh nectarines for lunch if anyone is still hungry!

  38. Now the baby is awake and the husband is home (which means the tv is on). Distractions abound.

    I will get this done. I will. I will.

  39. I've scheduled the sermon to publish tomorrow. (It's next week's text for you lectionary folks.) and Now to commit it to memory so I can "preach" while I create a ball of yarn.

    I do these things to myself.

  40. Okay, I've had a rest. Time to get to it. How's it going out there? Anybody want a Diet Coke?

  41. Sermon done... first half mine but latter half creatively stitched in parts!

    Now to finish up prayers of A&Conf and print the service off...
    and find the Jenga for the all-age chat...
    Will be sitting on the floor with the kids playing Jenga and wondering about the building blocks - the things that hold up the Jenga tower... and without them, it's just a mess of stuff all over the place. To tie in with 10 commandments as helpful building blocks to build up a relationship with God and others.
    I think it makes vague sense... maybe... perhaps!!!

    At least the evening service is a nice, happily straight-forward Taize style service, which is now all printed off.

    I'm never usually this late with sermons... ah well... *wipes sweat from brow*
    Blessings on those of you still toiling

  42. Just got news that my 99 year old grandmother is in the hospital, followed by more news that a 50 somthing parishioner has stage 3a lung cancer. I almost can't breathe from the sadness.

    Breathe of Life, breathe for and into those struggling with infirmity and illness, and for those who love and care for them.

  43. Oh, ramona. I'm so sorry. May the prayers of this community be with you and strengthen you.

  44. prayers, Ramona. SB, I'm so glad your people are being the church!

    I've successfully been fitted for my dress for Amy's wedding, the dress is ordered and now I just wait and try not to overeat (hahahah) for the next 8 weeks until it comes. Pilgrimage to Whole Foods and to Trader Joe's also completed. So...still no children's time ideas. But since the HoS often decides on Sunday morning how we will divide worship, it's possible I won't need a children's time at all, which makes my motivation for planning one very very low.

  45. Prayers for you, Ramona. As for me, it is SUCH a gorgeous fall day out that it has been hard to stay at the desk. But I'm getting there. Time for a break for making dinner and then back at it. Getting inspired, however, and think I'm going with something from Hebrews. And they are doing communion at prison tomorrow, always interesting. Maybe I'll describe it later. :-)

  46. Prayers for you, and those you care for, Ramona.

    On this end, the Service of Commitment is finished, they are officially committed, blessed, and prayed for. A very powerful, moving service. (thank you revgal who helped by sending me your service, portions of which were just what we needed to fill out the BCP service).

    Days like this, I LOVE what I am called to do. Thank you, God.

    now. where is my sermon for tomorrow?

  47. Terri, it's on the playground with mine, no doubt.
    I just got back from walking Hoagie at our favorite park, where it got rainier and rainier, until I slid in the mud. So really, I just got finished washing mud off my leg.
    Dinner is courtesy of the neighbors for whom I babysat last night, so I am warming it up and planning to start writing soon.

  48. Pumpernickel bread is done. Oatmeal bread will be out in four minutes. The coffee and tea are ready and I have homemade apple butter for you as well.

  49. Many difficult situations in the past days and the coming days. The Spirit walks with you al.

    I am off lectionary but you can find it here.

  50. My beloved has done it again. She has given me some ideas in enhancing my sermon to reach the regular person in the pews. Read all about the most depressing parable of the Bible here.

  51. I feel like I am drowning in the work of this sermon. The reading and the thinking about Sabbath (as well as the challenges to keeping Sabbath) have mostly made me feel sad and overwhelmed by the pace of life (including my own). I feel like the gift of Sabbath is a powerful and much-needed force for people living our era, but I'm feeling very uncertain of how to help that word shine through in my sermon, especially when it doesn't shine through in my own life.

    I am deep into the sermon already, and can't currently see my way through. And it has to be on the shorter side, since we have communion and a baby dedication tomorrow.

    This is kind of agonizing.

  52. Earthchick, so sorry! You seem to be drowning in your own sermon. Need someone to throw you a life-vest?

    Holy Spirit... a life vest over here!


    Songbird, sounds as if, at least, you didn't injury yourself when you slipped in/on the mud? I hope not.

    Well, my sermon is posted On Being Accountable, a reflection on snakes and laundry detergent, among other things

    yup, that about sums up my brain.

    now to head home, for some dinner! All this talk about food is making me hungry!

  53. Terri - I love the title!

    Why is it that I am always finishing my sermon about 6pm every time. Even when I have a good outline. Even when I have a sustainable sermon that just needs a couple of sentences to bring it together? I really wanted to be done before now - like about 3 hours ago and have the whole afternoon to veg.

    Enough ranting - for you hungry sermonators, I have chicken fried rice. I indulged in a little cooking therapy, real ginger, marinated the chicken to get that 'chinese' texture, layers the flavors. I had forgotten how much I enjoy the simple task of putting good food on the table. I definately need to structure some cooking time into my week!

    Back to finishing my sermon...

  54. earthchick, I'm sorry it's such a struggle this week. I can't seem to start at all. This would be a good week for something sustainable, but as I may have said already, the last two I preached for this week were either too current event-specific or setting-specific to be adaptable. I'm trying now to just jot down some thoughts. How can I be so unmotivated? I guess I'm must spent.

  55. Songbird, exactly! You have poured yourself out, more than once this week. You need time to debrief your inner self and rest before moving on to the next sermon...or at least that is one I feel under similar circumstances. Hoping you find some sermon mojo....

    I'm home eating a late dinner, almost 8pm my time. Definitely love the options for food being offered here...

  56. It's done, for better or worse. I don't love the ending, but then I never do. The HoS usually provides something more to the point by the end of the preaching event, but I wish that inspiration would come a bit earlier. I'm preaching on Putting on Confidence, as in co
    nfidence in God - maybe I should practice what I preach!

    Prayers of inspriation for everyone still wrestling with this week's Word of hidden gospel!

  57. Martha, what a day! I'm glad that someone took care of you and gave you space to take care of yourself.
    It's only about 2:30 in the afternoon here in Paradise. Y'all on the east coast are approaching 8:30 pm. My sermon is on the commandments - and we're really going to start on one foot - and the gospel in which Jesus clarifies the greatest commandment. My finished draft still needs some tinkering.
    Blessings all.

  58. Now that I'm stay at home momming it with the odd supply gig thrown in I don't get to preach often. My efforts for tomorrow got hijacked by the napless wonder this AFTER a gorgeous fall family day today (apples anyone?) I actually got some time to write.

    My sermon is up on my blog--and since no one in this parish knows me, they can't read ahead!

  59. Teri, excuse me, did you say the HoS waits until *Sunday* morning to figure out who's doing what in worship?!?! Er, um, I'm not sure I can say anything nice about that.

    Ramona, prayers for you.

    The girls are in bed, sleeping (I think/hope), hubby is running an errand, and I am just as stumped by my sermon as I was this morning. I should really get to work now, huh?

    I'll share some funnel cake from our festival this morning....mmmm.

  60. esperanza, I totally read that as, "Teri, did you say the Holy Spirit waits until *Sunday* morning..." Please, not that!!!

  61. Hello preachers. Just checking in to remind myself that it is in fact Saturday. My fabulous intern is preaching tomorrow so I've had the day off and it's been great. My daughter and 2 yo grandson are here for the weekend; yesterday we went to Ikea (first time for me in about 12 years) and today we went to a big mall with a fabulous historic carousel. I tried on a pair of heels for the first time in maybe 15 years...didn't buy them but i'm thinking about it, in celebration of the fact that I've lost 45 lbs.since March.

    Prayers and good thoughts for all who are struggling and/or who've had hard weeks. Remember the Holy Spirit has your back!

  62. Okay, esperanza and Songbird, I absolutely thought esperanza and Teri were both saying Holy Spirit (as opposed to Head of Staff) as well. I had to reread all three of your comments to figure out what was actually being said. Ha!

    Right now, I feel like the Holy Spirit is waiting until Sunday to tell me what I'm going to preach....

  63. earthchick, hang in there. If I'm finally getting somewhere (which seems to be the case), you can, too!
    RDM, wow! 45 pounds! Go you!!!

  64. LOL songbird! yes, esperanza, you read that right. At 8am, or a little after, just before the 830 service, the head of staff arrives and informs me what my role will be in the service. Sometimes we've discussed a few things ahead of time (for example, this week we're using a video for the communion invitation/prayer, so he told me on Tuesday that we would use the video only and not write communion liturgy, then I would do the bread and he would do the wine). Most of the time I discover that I'm on for children or prayers (or, more often, that I'm only responsible for announcements and benediction) less than half an hour before the first service begins.

    I have tried getting that kind of info ahead of time, I have tried modeling by giving him info ahead of time when it's my week to preach, but this is clearly just his pattern. I am learning to live with it...usually by being prepared for as much as possible (aka everything but the sermon), then just not printing anything out until I hear the plan.

    So...having said that...I have absolutely no idea what I might do for a children's time tomorrow, if I am responsible for one. Anyone have ideas? (we went off lectionary--we're reading 1 Corinthians 12 RE the body of Christ.)

  65. Sunday worship over, and while people were a bit confused about what to do with paper, Textas and pipe cleaners, the mural looks good. I may work out how to add it to my blog when the bearded one returns.
    Only 35 people this morning, usually 50-55. holidays and wet weather not a good combination.

    time to think about lunch, maybe bacon and eggs at our favourite coffee shop.

  66. Hi.
    Admittedly, this HoS sometimes has to be asked what others are doing in the service, but that usually happens during our meeting together - not on Sunday morning.

    I'm struggling here as well, with no real excuse except being worried about SB's load and trying not to fret over leaving Sunday night for a good 9 days. It should be a fruitful time away (CREDO), but I miss The Boy already!

    At least I'm finally taking this sermon assignment seriously!

  67. Hm, Teri, that's still irritating. And some other words.

    Sorry to startle all of you with the apparently tardy Holy Spirit, though! That would be dreadful.

  68. I have 25 minutes until I need to go pick up 16yo. Why did I agree to get her at the halfway mark of the contra dance? (I know why. She enjoys going with her dad, but he likes to stay late, and she wants--seriously, she wants--to go to church in the morning, to sing in the choir, and not to miss Communion. That's why I agreed.) Anyway, That's about a 45-minute round trip, and I really need to go to bed when I get back, so I'm going to try to get through a first draft in the next twenty minutes. Ready, set, go!

  69. Busy night, blessings to all. (I totally read Holy Spirit not Head of Staff and that is way too short of notice!)
    Prayer to all and TBTG that the HS has our backs.

  70. KZJ, that makes sense. after all, the person preaching has the final say on how worship flows (at least here). I'm so glad you have a meeting earlier in the week. I wish I still had a staff meeting experience. alas, new people bring new ways of doing, and we all adjust. slowly. lol.

    I wish I could get my hands on the game "Operation" before tomorrow morning. I think that would make a super fun children's time. ha!

  71. Mr. Potato Head would be fun, too.

  72. Ramona, I am so sorry. That's a heavy load to have put on you all at once. Prayers...

    I have finally finished. Sort of. Which is to say I have something I can preach, but I'm planning to get up at 4 or so and have another go at it because I am unsatisfied with it.

    Counting on the Holy Spirit!

  73. This is getting better, but very slowly.

    I guess I should figure out *where* this church is before tomorrow morning, huh?

  74. Not quite concluded, but I'm pretty close. Must get Lucy! Back later.

  75. Teri, wow. You are really being generous in your willingness to live with this HoS process....(I won't say you should be treated better than this, but I will think it)....

    So I have spent the night reading, a fire in the fireplace, drinking Yogi tea called Restful Mind, made from organic sage and lavender, it's delicious...but has helped to induce a nice drowsy-ness.

    I hope all your worries about words, and sermons, people and pastoral concerns are eased with a bit of grace and peace. May you sleep well and may the Holy Spirit fill your words tomorrow.

  76. Blogger ate my message...elastigirl...I so get that.
    Prayers for all who are struggling with heavy burden s or absent sermons. love the HS/HoS confusion. I procrastinated by looking up NOLA B&Bs... I will be imagining you all around the table tommorow.

  77. Progressing, but I can tell this puppy is going to need to be walked proud!

    Did I mention a couple of recently retired pastors have decided to worship with our congregation? No pressure.

  78. Sermon and prayers are done. Time to go to bed. Thanks for the laughs and support pals. May the Holy Spirit have all our backs sooner than Sunday morning.

  79. Ah, well a impromptu Christian Ed meeting and a couple of batches of cookies later...I'm back at it...
    BUT, the football game is on.
    I was really hoping to get this done before midnight tonight...anyone else still out there?

  80. Leanne, I'm still out here. Sad but true.

  81. Leanne, for me, the distraction is a particular baseball game. I can tell you much more about pitch counts than I can word count at this point.

  82. Still here. If I had a street address for the church, Google maps would be a tad more helpful. I also have very vague, "country" directions from the regular preacher. Sigh. Allow extra time, the motto of the traveling supply preacher.

    Sermon is definitely a dog. Not even a puppy, because puppies are cute. This one is not.

  83. Ack, now I finally have the bulletin, and there's all kinds of prayers and things that I hadn't been told about.

    Sorry to whine.

  84. Esperanza - I too am at ugly puppy stage.

  85. Mine's not a puppy, it's a bitch.


    Sorry. I'm a bit punchy.

    I think I'm done with a draft. I'm not really happy with it, especially the ending, but I've got to give it a rest, at least for a little while.

    Going to take a break for a shower, and then work on Sunday School, and then revisit my draft.

    I'm glad I'm not alone in this work. So grateful for all of you.

  86. LOL, earthchick! Thanks, I needed that.

  87. OK, I'm putting this poor little ugly puppy to bed. Hopefully it will be much cuter in the morning.

    Blessings to everyone still working tonight and on into the morning.

  88. Earthchick - Nice one!

    The game is getting ugly, and I've been banished from the living room.

    Perhaps I might actually get something done now. :-)

  89. Well, that was ridiculous and took twice as long as it should have. L forgot the things in her dad's car and didn't remember until we were almost home. So we went back to the contra dance and stopped at Dunkin Donuts on the way back. I'm here with a muffin and hot chocolate and a mostly written sermon that needs a section moved around, but I'm afraid I'm too tired to groom this puppy properly. And I want her to show well!

  90. SB, you have already shown well this weekend. Folks will just be glad that there is still a Sunday morning category.... or something.

    I'm ending my night and will try to make it better in the morning.

    Peace be upon all of you.


  91. I believe I'll be showing her in Bred By, but yes, you're right, kj. I'll put her in the kennel for the night soon.

  92. Well, the baseball game ended well! The sermon is going. I wish someone would make some guacamole with the avocados that are here.

  93. Guacamole sounds yummy, Vicar.
    I think I'm finished for tonight. But here's the question. It's only been two weeks since I said, "farting around." Do I dare say "crap?"

  94. If "crap" is too strong, you could say it really should be translated as one of George Carlin's seven words

  95. Hello everyone...definitely a RevGalNightOwl night here! Not a word written, thoughts rolling around in my head, but nothing quite gelling yet.

    I think the whole HoS/HS thing is funny (apart from the logistical issues)...because if anything, something might be able to be done about the HoS situation...unfortunately, sometimes the HS doesn't show up until the sermon is in the process of being preached!

    But, of course, I'm hoping that's not the case for us tomorrow. Although having the HS kick in then is better than not at all, I suppose.

    Enough rambling! Pumpkin spice lattes for us all! Off to the blank page!

  96. Oh, semfem! A blank page! Ack!!!
    I am really, truly finished for tonight. I think it's okay; I'll blog it tomorrow. Vicar, I moved things around and didn't even need to go there.
    Last one up, get the lights! Blessings to all of you and your puppy dogs or bitches, however ugly they may be.

  97. P.S. I really liked what Crimson Rambler said about approaching the parable in Matthew (and all the readings, possibly) as a TV crime drama. Law and Order, anyone?

    Children's sermon...the one with the lightbulb at I think will work for Matthew...although I might rewrite it a bit. But the illustration and the story about Thomas Edison is a good one, I think.

  98. Oops, I missed the part where Teri said she was off lectionary, so nix my children's sermon suggestion. Unless someone else reading this happens to be on Matthew and still needs something.

  99. OK, sisters, here it is, such as it is. And it's only 10:30 in these wild and lawless parts. Can't believe it. And now a big cup of smoky tea (I have a caddy of Lapsang souchong that I've had for at least 30 years, and so help me, pry the lid up and the Eternal Yak is right there in the kitchen with me still), and a well-beloved Georgette Heyer novel, and a little sleep, a little slumber, a little folding of the hands... Sweet dreams, everybody, by the grace of God, We. Can. Do. This.

  100. Checking in - already preached one and all is well. Had 13 dogs at the Blessing of the Animals beforehand and that was great fun. I love seeing who has which kind of dogs. None were ugly but some were cuter than others. I am waiting for the 16 yr old to come in from the backyard - he and friends are watching Up projected onto the side of the house from the trampoline. They are a fun bunch of teens but I know if I go to bed, I'll be awake til they are all gone anyway.
    Semfem - I like that website for children's sermons too. I like that it is searchable for other scriptures also.
    Hope you all get done soon. Teens are coming in now.

  101. This HoS hopes the HS has got her back as she preaches this in the morning.
    But, it is ten minutes to midnight, so I'm in before the self-imposed deadline.

  102. Everything is printed!

    I'm off to bed.

    Blessings on your Sunday!

    I will be remembering you in particular tomorrow as we celebrate World Communion Sunday. My world is both smaller and larger because of you. I am blessed and grateful.

  103. Finally, after much struggling and some sleeping, I have a sermon. Just in the nick of time! Off to get ready for the day.

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

  104. Aww, Vicar. The same to you.
    I'm drinking reheated coffee and looking over my sermon, hoping it makes enough sense to be preachable. It's pouring here, and I'm looking forward to the Holy Nap on the agenda for this afternoon (and grateful for a fenced backyard for the Hoagie dog).

  105. Preaching love to all of you today!
    I just read all of the comments from start to finish...and you all are amazing and wondrous women,
    and that dear Holy Spirit will be with you!

  106. Blessings rev gals and pals. Grateful for all of you this Sunday! After the weeks many of you have had hope that sabbath naps will be happening.

  107. Semfem, I am glad to know that I am not the only one this happens to! I hope all went well for all of you today. Sometimes my prayer is just that the Holy Spirit let people hear what they need to hear rather than necessarily what I am saying. Prayers for good rest for all of you!


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