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Saturday, November 05, 2011

11th Hour Preacher Party: Keep Awake! Edition

clocksWelcome, all you preachers who are in various stages of preparation, pleasure &/or panic regarding Sunday's worship services!  You are in just the right place, and you are among friends.

Join in and enjoy the party!

If you are up for it, please share a little bit about what you are up to this fine Saturday.  Some prompts to pick from (no pressure):

Are you leading solo tomorrow, co-leading, or something else entirely?

Two lectionary choices: Pentecost +21 or All Saints Day?  Which?  How?

What are you talking about with children?

How do you celebrate your saints?

Anyone here for the very first time?

A very fun thing I did last week was to go with some friends to explore the offerings of a new (to me) winery in the Lehigh Valley area of PA.  What was the highlight of your week?

Can we pray for you in a specific way?

And . . . it's "Fall - Back" weekend in the U.S.A. and Canada, clock-wise, except for Arizona and Hawaii, who leave their clocks alone year round.  If you did "Spring Forward" way back when, tonight don't forget to pick a time to turn your clock back an hour.  Spend your extra hour here with us, or catch that extra hour of sleep that your schedule doesn't otherwise allow.  Other plans?

Above all -- come as you are and make yourself comfortable.  Help yourself to the variety of hot drinks -- coffee, tea, hot apple cider, and hot cocoa -- and check out the breakfast muffins. De-lish!

Thanks for celebrating together the Hour Longer 11th Hour Preacher Party!  


  1. Hi,

    After a few weeks away, study leave adn annual leave, this week my brain is slo getting into gear.
    I am looking at All Saints and The beatitudes.
    The liturgy is done, just working on the children's address [the person rostered is sick], then after dinner I will write the sermon. [currently 5.00pm in Sydney, AUS]

    I am using the ideas from here for the children's time.

  2. It's 2:30 am here and I am trying to finish preparing for a memorial service on Saturday...then it will be on to preparing for Sunday, using the All Saints texts. It's been a looooong week, and I'm hoping things come together relatively quickly. I'd really rather NOT be up to see the time change as it happens. :)

    I'll set the coffee maker up for those who will be just getting up shortly.

  3. if you need a sugar hit, I have just choc coated some home made honeycomb from last night's market at the church.

  4. Thank you kindly, pearl...I may take some and save it for later on tonight, when I'm working on Sunday's sermon! Sounds delish.

    As for now, I finally finished the memorial homily, so I'm packing it in to grab a few hours of sleep. Maybe I can sneak a nap in there tomorrow? (I may have no choice!)

    Hoping for a peaceful and smooth evening for pearl, afternoon for Euro readers, and morning for the Western Hemisphere.

  5. Thanks Semfem,
    I hope you get time for that nap tomorrow.

    sermon is complete.
    Beatitudes: challenge and comfort
    I have borrowed heavily, even to the point of not paraphrasing as much as I usually would. It has ended up being less about All Saints than I was imagining, but lots of hymns about saints, and we are finishing the service singing: when the saints go marching in: two of the young people at church have been learning it, so a fun way to finish.

    another half hour and the kettle will be boiling, help yourself to coffee, herbal or black tea, or hot chocolate.

    time to print this all of.

  6. Greetings - I am preaching tomorrow in what is supposed to be an every-other-month preaching assignment.

    I am preaching an All-Saints sermon. We are spending 3 weeks looking at the saints - the first week (my assignment) is to unpack the meaning of "saint" or hagios. How we are part of a priesthood determined not by famlial lines but by a spiritual heritage, through the ages. And how as part of the "living stones" we can together impact the world. I'm also using Ellen's idea of being with an unlikely band of comrades (like Lord of the Rings).

    I had to write my sermon yesterday after CPE because we are spending the day watching The Johnnie in her crewbie inaugural race on the Occoquan River (in Virginia). So I'm already showered, dressed and coffee in hand, am headed out the door.

    #2 daughter made banana bread, so please help yourselves. I'll check in once I'm home from the River. :)

    Rowing on...

  7. pearl and semfem, thanks for getting the party started! I just filled up on the hot coffee and -- yum! -- chocolate-coated honeycomb. What a treat!

    We chose All Saints Day and, as this is a new (5 weeks) congregational setting for me, I will recondition a sermon I preached a few years ago. The title is the last six words of the Mary Oliver poem The Summer Day." The last line:
    Tell me, what is it you plan to do
    with your one wild and precious life?

    Have a fun day, Deb!

    Thanks for the children's ideas, pearl. I'm going to check them out and also your sermon. And . . . more coffee to go with that banana bread, please!

  8. Good morning friends,

    Last week was supposed to be my leave taking service but the snow storm had other plans. You know the old joke, if you want to make God laugh make plans.

    Today I will be tweaking last weeks sermon to include elements of All Saints Day.

    BTW my coffee maker broke. ggrrrrr. Beloved went to dunkin' doughnuts to get us some coffee and munchkins to share.

  9. (((HUGS))) God_Guurrlll! Thinking of you on this poignant weekend. I hope it is permeated by God's presence for all of you. Any plans for getting a new coffee maker soon?

    Sun is up! Trying to decide if the chore du jour will be paying bills or mopping the kitchen floor. Or . . . first . . . . more coffee! (no contest!)

  10. Chocolate covered fresh honey comb! Sounds amazing. All saints here- communion, 35 Thai graduate students doing an education and culture exchange, mission presentation by a member about his recent dental mission trip to Haiti, potluck meal... today is an all day presbytery meeting that promises to puch a lot of my buttons. Prayers would ne appreciated. Dealing with the fallout of recent unblogables ( not that I can get myself to blog consistently enough to count...) sigh... It is going to be a long weekend. Coffee, I need more coffee

  11. G.G.keeping you in prayer on this farewell weekend. God's peace as you say goodbye

  12. Good morning - I am offering Cafe Bustelo coffee, and my dog offers you part of his rawhide...and my cats offer you a wide selection of chapstick that they have stolen from me! I don't have to preach tomorrow. It is our Consecration Sunday, so we have a guest preacher. But, the best news is that we have the largest crowd by far signed up to attend the luncheon afterwards. That is good news. A few years ago, we went through some painful stuff in church and I was not sure we would ever recover. So, how great is it that our largest service of the year might be the one that 'officially' deals with stewardship?

  13. Good morning! I'm still working in bed, but there is probably coffee on down in the kitchen.

    I'm preaching on the gospel passage. After all of a month in my own pulpit, I'm already feeling my manuscript preaching going flat, so I've only written about half of it out this time - I'm going to try to go more with the flow of the Spirit. We'll see.

    The title is "What's in Your Jar?" (this congregation has NIV Bibles in the pew, I try to use what they have when the translation isn't so much of an issue for me, and the NIV says "jar" instead of "flask") -- and after mulling over multiple possible responses, the ones I've come up with are "need," "longing," and "gratitude" as gifts Jesus invites us to carry with us.

  14. Chilly, rejoicing with you in signs of recovery and renewal! I'm excited for your day tomorrow!

    Celeste, prayers of rejoicing for a great Sunday and prayers for your patience on this challenging Saturday. Sometimes, when expectations are so low (understandably so), a good gift shows up to make it all worthwhile. Let us know if that happens!

    Let's enjoy some of that Cafe Bustelo (thanks, Chilly!) and, in my case, a little "Simon and Garfunkle" mood music.

  15. Hey there, Rev. Robin! Your sermon sounds intriguing. And I am cheering you on to follow the Spirit's leading to get off manuscript.

    I would love to hear more -- from you or others -- about how you get off the paper. My sermons are fairly conversational, and I know the message well enough to have lots of eye contact. These things I've been told. But I still wonder if we are all missing something in my dependence on a manuscript and would like to get off of it sometimes -- safely!

  16. I don't know! But last week, the final page was missing and I had to wing it - and that went ok, but not as well as it would have had I been planning it.

    In seminary, our basic homiletics professor insisted that we memorize our sermons, which basically produced both tremendous anxiety and incredibly boring and flat preaching. I am trying to figure out how to be more relaxed and open without sacrificing content and language - my written prose is far more elegant than my natural spoken language.

  17. Feeling verbose this morning!

    On the topic of what's in your jar: My congregation is very much of the it's-all-up-to-me persuasion. Other options I came up with included spiritual practices, justice kindness and humility, faith hope and love -- and then I realized that I was playing right into their sense of I need to get saved by confessing my sins and acknowledging Jesus as my Lord and Saviour.

  18. That anxiety and sense of being too rote have been just the things that have kept me on the manuscript, for better or worse. But I have also had that "last page missing" thing happen and, as you said, it was actually kind of good. Maybe that's the way: Last page gone this week, last two gone next week . . .!

  19. not preaching this week, but doing logistical things for the weekend-visit of Visiting Lecturer -- on congregational singing. Great session last night, two more today, and tomorrow HE preaches. Grabbing coffee and running, at this point -- catch y'all later on today!

  20. It's end of the (Satur)day here in Beijing and I'm taking one last look at the sermon - using the All Souls' readings here as a feature of expat life is missing many funerals/memorials. So tomorrow will preach almost a funeral sermon - speaking of our hope - and we will read and gather names of those who have died and remember and give thanks. Best wishes to all those who are juggling multiple demands on a Saturday

  21. Good morning preachers!

    I am working on Matthew for All Saints, and we have a baptism tomorrow which makes it even better. I love this text and All Saints, but when I look back at what I've preached before it seems like I've only ever had one theme and so I need to branch out a little bit...not sure just where or how yet.

    I am still feeling discombobulated after having taken refuge with friends in the city during our four day (for my neighborhood) power outage. We lost our power after the storm was over--during church actually, although there were only 3 of us there (me, my seminarian, and one brave soul who was sort of oblivious to the storm damage). Not sure why having normal life on hold throws me off so badly, but I felt the same way after the hurricane went through in August, and I didn't leave home for that one. As of yesterday there were still a few folks in town without power; I'm so very grateful to have mine back. I am not meant to be a pioneer woman -- that much has become clear to me! The power company has promised that our town should be fully restored by tomorrow. I know it has been a challenging week for everyone.

    Chilly Fingers, yea! for a good turn-out for stewardship! That is really encouraging!

  22. I'm downing the last bit of coffee and posting this (with the email box checked, I hope!) as I dash out the door.

    We're doing All Saint's with the not All Saint's text ... we'll see how brilliant that is later when I return.

  23. A friend posted this All Saints poem on FB. He noted he'd probably have to take the "f" word out if he read it in church, and I guess I would too, but I love the poem.

  24. Hello all!

    Robin, I, too, am in a new pulpit and feeling it going "flat" (what a great description!)--maybe I will try to go a little off manuscript, too! I'm so impressed by you doing it, I'm sure the spirit will give you wonderful words that the congregation needs!

    I'm preaching on Joshua 24, as we don't have an All Saints tradition in our church. I confess it's basically a one-point sermon (emphasizing that you choose to serve God today, not putting it off til tomorrow, it's called "Choose Today" just to really beat that point home, and cause I'm not creative with titles), but I'm lacking inspiration/motivation/other -tions this week.
    I'll take some of that Cafe Bustelo coffee! Blessings, everybody!

  25. Coffee is brewing...its strong, though! Bagels and cream cheese here. Preaching on Matthew and really struggling with it...keep getting caught up on why in the heck those five other maidens didn't share their oil...ugh!

  26. CC, I spent a lot of time thinking about that question, too. Finally decided that in no way was my congregation ready to hear that question raised!

  27. I've mostly recovered from last weekend's 2-funerals-worship-confirmation-class-grind. It's been a nice week with just a few visits and lots of time to catch up on paperwork - and yes, I really do have a desktop!

    I'm recycling the All-Saints sermon from the last time around when I was on internship. It's too long (I guess my supervisor was right about my sermon length!) so I'll be cutting it down a bit and adding highlights of some local saints. It's good to have a sustainable sermon!

    Other than that, I have another confirmation lesson to prepare and I'm dipping my toes in the readings for Advent, trying to get a feel for a theme.

    The family may even catch a movie tonight. Yahoo!

  28. Good morning preacher friends! Just scanned the comments and lifted up prayers for G_G. Picturing Robin in her cozy bed across town :)) which she richly deserves after last weekend! Hope I can come down and hear you preach sometime.
    I am settling in to my new call as a pretty much non-preaching associate. Since my last call was an hour away and involved a Saturday night service, it makes for much calmer Saturdays. But I do miss it!
    Tomorrow I am giving a presentation to a Sunday school class who wants to hear about my call. It's a hard story to tell, since it involves telling about our infertility struggles and our two born-too-soon baby boys. But the story isn't the story if I don't tell that part. So today, I am working on the power point presentation, also putting together the Taize service for Tuesday and writing a newsletter article about the Order of St. Luke. Oh, and playing with my girls, probably taking them swimming.
    Blessings to all of you as you prepare. I have some toll house squares and homemade hot cocoa to share if you need a chocolate high, let me know!

  29. MP, prayer for you as you prepare to tell your hard, hard story.

    Maybe I can come to the Taize service a couple of weeks after surgery. I'm not usually in town on Tuesday nights, but I will be then,

    I tried to introduce a teeny tiny bit of Taize to my congregation for Advent. A complete failure.

  30. Hello! I did All Saints last week since it was closer to the actual date and it fit the theme. That said, it would have fit my baptism and communion Sunday this week, too. Oh well. No worry.

    Due to a full service, my sermon will need to be REALLY short. I'm going to relate the sacraments to the Psalm as a way we tell the coming generations. I threw in a "let the children come to me" periscope in, too, to drive that home. It's the day before our new Director of Youth and Family Ministries officially starts, so that might be twisted in somehow, too.

    My goal is to actually work on this when kids are napping because we're invited (or in all honesty we invited ourselves) over to some friends' house to watch the Big Game tonight. We seem to be the only two households in our town who care about college football in this Packer/Viking battleground area, and they're actually Bama fans, so it's more fun to watch together. My husband's doing a cooking lesson before the game to teach these southerners how to make Nebraska runzas!

  31. I love your plan for your context, Jemma!!!

  32. As I put the final touches to my sermon and service tomorrow all I can think is saying goodbye sucks. Just sayin'

  33. Checking in after a glorious week at a clergy couples retreat (if that description fits you, I'll be happy to share more info).

    However. No work was done on my sermon. Working on the Joshua passage, possibly something about having to choose whom we will serve many times. A bit vague at this point.

    MumPastor, many blessings as you prepare to tell your story.

    First, a nap on the couch.

  34. What is a Saint?
    How can we tell?
    What difference do they make in the world?

    If I had answers to those questions I would hae a sermon.

  35. Welcome, Crimson Rambler & Vicar, who are on the run! Thanks for checking in.

    And thanks for checking in from Beijing, Jemma, and for bringing a word of hope to your congregation.

    RevDrMom, I'm not a pioneer woman, either, and there are still people without power in this part of PA, a week later. It's very nice to be able to so often take for granted things like electricity.

    Ramona, busy week! Good time to have a sustainable sermon to cut on.

    CC and Gord, do let us know where those questions lead!

    Blessings on your new calls, Sara Anne and MumPastor. Sara Anne, your one point is a biggie and certainly preach-able. "Choose Today" . . . well said!

    SheRev, I'm a Southern girl here (Baton Rouge roots) so will be rooting for the LSU Tigers and -- true confession -- I have no earthly idea what a runza is!

    God_Guurrrlll, saying good-bye especially sucks when it has to be said to a sucky situation. (Can I say that here?) I pray that a welcome door is opening for you elsewhere.

    Hi Esperanza!
    (whispering in case you are still napping)

    I have some really good chicken and rice soup here and very fresh crunchy apples. Grab some if you want!

  36. Sharon, Sara Anne, and Robin - I have been mostly off manuscript for the last few months for first time in almost 9 years of preaching. I had been thinking about trying it for a while and then took a week long half day seminar about it when I got to try a mini sermon. I've done it for most sermons. I wanted to be very precise with my words on 9/11 so I didn't do it then. I haven't been doing it for funerals, and there was one other week that I accidentally produced a manuscript.

    Things I have learned:
    1. It doesn't necessarily take less time to prepare, but different time.
    2. I am consciously thinking about my sermon even more throughout the week.
    3. I have to do all my prep work and organizational planning with paper and pen or pencil or I will end up typing a manuscript whether I want it or not.
    4. Structure is everything. I've been going without notes or anything much of the time and it requires a simple, easy to remember structure that makes sense to me.
    5. Know your transitions.
    6. The stuff you forget to say ususally didn't need to be said anyway.
    7. Writing out your last sentence doesn't hurt. I find that winding it up is the hardest part.

    Just my quick thoughts. I have loved the change to my preparation flow, but I do miss having words that feel like they are very carefully placed. I'm also still bothered that I don't have a consistent way of archiving what I'm preaching. I have scanned my notes and saved them all in a folder on the computer. Someday we'll start posting video of most of them and that would help.

    All in all I think it has been a good move for me. I'd like to get some honest feedback from the folks who have not raved about it. I wonder if they hate it or just don't have anything to say, but some people REALLY like it. Last week was the first time I did the whole thing out away from the pulpit itself.

  37. Runzas are a Nebraska thing. I hear they have German origins. Basically they are the original hot pockets - ground beef browned with chopped cabbage and onion, then baked (enclosed) in bread. I never heard of them until I moved to Nebraska for my first call. There's actually a fast food chain for them all over NE, but my husband (taught by his mother) makes them from scratch.

  38. That's really very encouraging and helpful, SheRev. Thank you! What you said makes me want to try it myself! I can see that it might grow me in ministry and challenge my process positively. Perhaps it's not too late for this preacher to learn new ways!

  39. Oh yeah, if you're not sick of me, I forgot my other piece of advice about stepping away from the manuscript (although I think it goes for manuscript preaching, too) -

    One point is enough for on sermon. If you've got more, save it for the time through the cycle or turn it into a sermon series.

  40. Preaching at the other church in my sabbatical circuit. They are extending the feasts of the saints/souls/dead which works well with my sermon on the rapture from the epistle.

  41. SheRev, THANK you! I see that much of what you list I have either done (or realized I should have done!) intuitively, so you have offered me the gift of a bit more confidence.

    I do have about half the sermon typed up -- tomorrow will be like preaching from an outline with additional notes here and there.

    I think that I am going to have to adjust to thinking of the structure rather than the language itself as my primary focus -- but I see real potential for growth here. Perhaps if I myself am more focused on the structure, then my listeners will hear more of the words and phrases, because they won't have to work for the framework.

    Much food for thought!

    Oh, and I do have some brownies left over from the ordination reception. Enjoy!

  42. Wow - late to the party this week but I am swamped by funerals, had a (wonderful) 24 hours away with good friends & had a tough time wrestling with Matthew's wise & foolish bridesmaids! But it's done now, and I just have some 'condensing' to do for the shorter services.
    Hope the Saints are smiling on all our efforts!

  43. wow, such a lot going on for many of you.
    Sunday morning, blue sky, warm day ahead, and I am grateful for this group of people I have never met.

    This group of saints blesses my life in so many ways.
    May God bless each one of you with peace, hope and grace.

  44. Why is it that when I have a sustainable sermon to edit, I still don't get it done before 5? I manage to do just about everything else. Today, I got ready for confirmation class tomorrow, made up some graphics for the class, did some prep work on the next session and updated the trivia game. It's all good work - but my sermon is not finalized.

    We're making a quick market run since someone (me) forgot to thaw something for dinner. Can I get anyone anything? Perhaps some of the wonderful soft-serve ice cream at the gas station we pass on the way to the market? Yummm!

  45. Hi, everyone! I'm back from a week of Study Leave (fruitful! thanks to kathrynzj for her hospitality), and I'm a week out of sync with the lectionary for the next three. I'm using the Parable of the Talents for a Stewardship message tomorrow. It is BLUNT. I don't think this church has heard a blunt message involving money from the pulpit before. Should be interesting.
    Next week we will get the sheep and the goats, then on Dedication Sunday (Nov 20) we'll use the Thanksgiving texts since we're using one of them as our Stewardship theme. The strength of tomorrow's sermon is a series of quotes from actual church members (unnamed) who talked with the Stewardship committee about why they give. I think the right word for the whole thing is hortatory. If this church doesn't increase giving, the handwriting is on the wall for fulltime ministry. We have some very generous givers, but not enough pledge units in general by comparison with the membership rolls. I realize this is not unusual, and a fundraiser a couple of years ago will likely carry us on through next year, too, or most of it, but it would be a good feeling to see giving go up, both in total and in the number of households pledging.
    So that's on my mind, and I guess if it doesn't go well, I'll be asking you to pray for my next search! ;-)
    G_G, prayers for you tomorrow as you bid farewell.

  46. I was in that place last years, SB. I don't think my church had heard a blunt sermon about money in a very long time. We made 100% return of pledge cards our goal last year even if some were marked "I can't give at all right now." we got VERY close to our goal. Like within 10. The plan was going to be be to hit hard with increasing giving this year (one step up challenge) but I guess the committee changed their mind. I think it's unfortunate because we still had momentum and a good year for the church's finances on our side this year. Oh well. Pledges are being returned at a pretty good rate right now with our goal to have them all next week.

  47. Late starting today, prayers for all of you who are facing challenges and for those of you who are struggling. I've managed to weave together, All Saints, Remembrance, Stewardship and 10 virgins into what is (i hope) a cohesive whole. I'm mostly focusing on the 10 Virgins and the interpretation of oil being the oil of blessing...we don't share it because we are selfish but because we can't; each one of us can only do it ourselves, making choices about who we will serve..... (it is a matter of stewardship--letting our light shine) the Saints and those who sacrificed for the sake of justice and freedom.

    It feels a little like a stew..hope I don't overcook it!

  48. Good Afternoon! In a bit of a panic because I'm just now sitting down to work after a day at the Deanery meeting. SheRev, thanks for the point about one point. Think that will make my work easier in the hours ahead.

    Gord, when you get the answers to your questions, please share.

    Am trying to link together baptism, a commissioning of my ministry by the rector, and All Saints. Think I'm going with 1 John--beloved children of God--thanks to David Lose.

    What's for supper?

  49. Hi Wil & Ruth!

    Good morning, pearl!

    Welcome back, Songbird! I like that you are getting some help for your blunt money talk from actual testimonies from the congregation. Powerful!

    Ramona, I also have a sustainable sermon, but just now as I was driving around, I got very tempted to completely revise it. I don't know if I'm up for that kind of starting over.

    I'll have some of those ordination brownies, thank you, Robin!

  50. lots of good stuff here today! Thanks for the conversation on preaching without a manuscript. The idea makes me break out in hives... and yet I know my anxiety is worth getting over.
    Presbytery lived up to expectation. 'nuff said... I am exhausted and grateful that I was able to get almost everything done for worship last night. Just need to look at my sermon again and make something for the pot luck. Cooking tonight actually sounds like a very relaxing activity. Thanks Sharon for your hospitality. Thinking of you G.G. - saying good bye is complicated enough. Welcome home SB! I know you had a productive renewing study time. Will check back in later

  51. Hey, Celeste, maybe we could come up with a friendly challenge to get off manuscript sometime. I understand the hives about it all too well!

    I'm also inspired by RevAlli and LTF weaving together themes and scriptures.

    I've started rewriting twice only to discern that what I have is marginally better than any other direction so far. (ugh)

    Did anyone order pizza? (hoping . . .)

  52. I've got a HUGE pot of chili simmering, should be ready in about 45 minutes for any hungry sermonators out there.

    Enough procrastinaiton - time to revise my sermon.

  53. I attended a brief workshop today on cultural sensitivities for folks visiting partner churches in Tanzania. When the presenter commented on different understandings of time, people who had visited there chuckled - having experienced this first-hand. Greater emphasis is placed on relationship than punctuality. I'm going to use the example he shared: when headed to an appointment, it is not uncommon to encounter a funeral procession. Instead of rushing to be on time, they take a turn carrying the casket. Even for someone they don't know. I will be needed that extra hour tonight.

  54. Lynn, in using the Beatitudes for All Saints, I also am hoping to make the point that quality of life (a spiritual quality) is the goal rather than higher achievement and more activities. Way easier said than done, even (especially?) in ministry!

    Yeah, the extra hour will be nice!

    Yum, chili! Thanks, Ramona!

  55. Gord, take a look at this: I think Lucking does a beautiful job with saints.

    I may have the thread to weave baptisms, ministry and saints together. Let's hope!

  56. I've got crockpot parmesan chicken to share. yum yum.

  57. Lynn, you just reminded me of my adult childrens' surprise when we returned to my hometown for my most recent stepmother's funeral ~ at how all the drivers the funeral procession passed going the other way slowed down and stopped and lifted a hand in respect.

  58. Pizza for supper, Rev Alli. She Rev, I love your no notes ideas. I've only done it once and had notes scattered everywhere just in case, but didn't use them.
    We had our big "Soup & Pie" event today and since everyone will be tired, I've done a complete Keynote (Powerpoint) presentation for the sermon that I will talk along with. I've never done a whole sermon like this so it should be fun. Am hoping on my tech works as it is dependent on the WIFI which is stretched to reach that part of the sactuary. I built a little booster this afternoon..
    Here' my blog with the presentation link altho it's on iWork so doesn't show my nifty transitions. I hope to end with the gospel for the week before thanksgiving as I'm using something else there. here's hoping.

  59. I think it's done, but I'll probably fiddle with it some more. "Family Reunion" can be read here. Comments appreciated.

    Now for a bowl of chili while I read your offerings!

  60. Thanks for all the good suppers, yum. Our grilled chicken salad seems a little humdrum now.

    Girls are in bed. Would someone please explain this extra hour deal to them?

    I should really get to work. No words written, not even the title and date.

  61. Frequent reader, rare poster, but I just battled through a 90-minute tantrum/meltdown from my 3-year-old and am now trying to clear my mind so that I can write! I have such a hard time handling things like that on a Saturday evening. Here's hoping that I'm able to recover more quickly than he did...sigh...

    I'm on Matt 25 tomorrow, and thinking of it in light of Joshua too - sometimes our choice to follow God is a "stand up and be counted" moment ("choose this day..."), and sometimes it is a more mundane "be prepared" moment. And sometimes the mundane is the harder one! I think there's something there, isn't in any semblance of a sermon yet. And need to finish Sunday School material too.

    Think I'll go grab a snack and try to get some words on paper!

  62. Esperanza, good to have company on the blank page.

    All the dinners sound great but especially the parmesan chicken. Think my husband is about to start cooking pork chops.

    SheRev--what about the number of stories? Am wondering if one point calls for one story only.

    There are so many threads to tie together tomorrow, I'm going to start with an outline. Something I rarely do.

  63. I DID order pizza--some with pepperoni and some with veggies; help yourselves!

    I took some time to reset all the timers at the church so lights and bells will be on time tomorrow, and to do a couple of other errands, and now I badly need to wrap this sermon up. I've been using 1 John and talking about saints as God's beloved children becoming more than they ever thought they could -- and we too are saints...but it feels like I've gone astray somewhere. Ugh.

    Maybe a cup of tea will help...or a s*bux run...

  64. Rev Wags, maybe he will sleep really really well after that? I like the contrast between the dramatic and mundane "be prepared" moments.

    Thanks for the pizza, RDM. I wanted to weave 1 John in with Matthew 5. Maybe I did, very subtly. I keep fiddling with what I thought was finished.

    I'm looking forward to reading yours now, Ramona.

  65. Sharon, about that challenge,maybe if we come up with something very narrative...even then I panic. Are you doing BE5? We could work on something for summer.
    Potluck turkey tenderloin and whole grain melange is cooking. Only 8:40 and I am ready to go to bed. Must stay up until it's done....

  66. Is this nuts? I'm hearing a connection between Joshua's repeated question to the people and Jesus's repeated question to Peter: do you love me?

    Rev Wags, sorry about the meltdown. It always takes me a long time to recover, too.

  67. esperanza, go for it! It sounds like a very potent connection to me.

    Celeste, yes, I am doing BE5, so it would be fun to think about something for summer. I look forward to seeing you again!

    I'm getting sleepy, very sleepy, and our first worship service starts at 8:00 in the morning. I'm trying to convince myself that it's an hour earlier than it really is, but that's not working.

    I'll count on you all to keep the oil burning. I'll be back in a few hours with coffee for the very late night / early morning preachers!

    Thanks, all!

  68. Just stopping at the end of a long day. Tomorrow we celebrate All Saints' Day and our stewardship in gathering, and we have a guest preacher. For those who know my story, the guest preacher is the parish consultant I hired to help me with the challenges of a former parish. It is delightful to have him with us, in this exciting, creative, fun place! He gave a powerful, moving stewardship reflection tonight at our celebration supper honoring all the ministries of the parish.

    Anyway, it's been a long day, good, but long. Now I am relaxing with a cup of tea. Holding you, all, in prayer as you prepare for Sunday.

  69. Just getting here (I'm on the west coast, but still - it's kind of...late! My, am I leaning into that EXTRA HOUR tonite!).

    Anyway, appreciating Robin's phrase "my most recent stepmother" - I've always wondered how to name that particular relationship in my own life and it helps.

    Also, thanks Sherev for the good reminder on manuscript-less preaching. I'm going that route tomorrow and I was feeling a little wazzed out - but grateful to remember that manuscriptless doesnt mean plan-less :) And, mmm, I would like a runza please. Never had one, but sounds delish.

    Revwags - boy, do I hear you. I dont know why they dont call them the terrible THREEs. Two was no prob compared to three...hang in there, this too will pass.

    Childrens time - I'm thinking maybe we could have a little Communion 101 - probably dont do that often enough with the kiddos. Anyone else have a great idea though?

    Skipped all saints this year, somehow working the 10 virgins into a sermon on generosity (this week's stewardship). My normally supportive dh was all "good luck with that." So, guess I better get going...

  70. Juniper, I've had 3 stepmothers. My challenge these days is how to refer to the only one who is alive, Number 2, who is living with my father again. My father's partner? His former wife? I suppose there are other options. So far I go with "my father and B."

  71. Time for bed. Good night all. Thanks for the prayers and good thoughts.

  72. Okey doke. Home from the river. Photos uploaded (on Facebook) but I think I have the illustration that I wanted for the end of my sermon!!! The saints are called to be "living stones" and to impact the world together for the Kingdom.

    Pulling together!! Yeah. With a great shot of The Johnnie and her crewbie friends :)

    I love it when it works. Well, maybe I should wait until tomorrow to say that, but I have a good feeling about it.


    The crewbies ate all of the snacks I took so if you need a late night pick me up, I got nothing but prayers.

    GG -- praying for you...

  73. Based on the other stuff going on during the service, I think I'll have about 3-5 minutes to preach at one service and 10 minutes at the other one. It's hard to write a sermon when the time difference is that great. I think it'll end up being outline/notes so the flexibility is built in from the beginning. That has worked out on other Sundays with similar time imbalances. I'm hoping it comes together fast enough that I don't have to use that extra hour instead of sleeping through it.

  74. Ack. This week is at a new pulpit supply church for me. I've never led worship there before, and just now I notice that there are parts I'm unsure about. Here's hoping the congregation can help me out tomorrow morning.

    Sermon is pretty much done, though.

  75. Dear all, we had a great great day at St. Curious with presentations on the challenges of congregational singing...and our presenter is preaching tomorrow -- my duties are reduced to collecting him from his lodgings, conveying him to the church and thence to lunch and eventually to the airport.
    Not preaching myself until the's nice to have a bit of a break, I'm afraid of getting into a rut in manner as well as matter.
    Time to change my clocks and lay out what I need for the morning so as to make a smooth get-away.
    blessings, all, in all your labours and in your rest tonight.

  76. Well, it will be by the seat of my pants, as usual. May the Holy Spirit be with me, and also with you all.

  77. I've been gone for a while watching football. Holy cow. RevAlli, I tend to be a one story person, too, actually, not strictly, but usually. That's if I have one at all. I usually keep to one larger comparison/story/illustration instead of muddying the water with multiple. I don't want my illustrations to compete with the Scripture. I usually spend a lot more time wondering in the text than I do supporting it with examples and stories. Not that I'm against stories; I'm just miserable at realizing how the things I read, experience, watch, or hear fit my preaching themes. I'm so bad at that.

    Game's over so I guess it's time to outline my thoughts. After all that talk about preaching without notes I think I might be the one that ends up writing a manuscript. I've got to be really short and concise. The manuscript might keep me on track. We'll see. I need to get it all in order anyway.

  78. Hi all! Late again to the party, as usual, with some cold cheese pizza to snack on.

    All Saints tomorrow for us, with a focus on 1 John's beloved children of God.

    Tough week for me - I subbed in a 3rd grade classroom for 3 days, with 3 more next week.

    And my husband has decided it's time for our marriage to end. I'm angry, hurt, not surprised, and relieved all at the same time; and VERY anxious about the future for my boys and I. I really need a full-time job with a living wage. Hear that, God????

  79. TSB -Sounds like such a challenging time! I'll add my "hear that God?" to yours

  80. TSB, Hang in there and keep shouting. Prayers coming your way.

  81. RevTSB - Hang in there! I've been a single mom much longer than I was a married mom. You have my prayers

    I ended up with a manuscript instead of notes ... wouldn't you know. Tomorrow may go long. oh well, they'll probably live through it.

    I just need to get the prayers together and reset the clocks before I go to bed.

  82. Juniper, I'm doing what you're doing with the Matthew text. It seemed do-able at the beginning of the week.

    RevTSB - prayers ascending.

  83. Okay, I've just watched the clocks bump back so it is 'before' the last comment I made. Here's hoping that in the next hour I can get this thing typed in.

  84. See the time stamp - isn't that cool?

  85. Thank you kathrynzj...I was just wondering, "did we already gain the hour?" And earlier today I was really hopeful that I wouldn't be awake to see it happen...oh well.

    RevTSB...may you rest in God's arms.

    I am back to write this bad boy...after a hard four hour nap tonight with a pounding headache. Memorial service went well today, then a long pastoral visit, then retreating home to rest. Headache seems to have subsided (please God), so let's see if I can get something written and get back to sleep.

    I do like the sermons I've read here. I don't really care for the sermon I wrote three years ago on All Saints. But I did find a great note from three years ago about an illustration on the Vicar of Hogsmeade's blog having to do with the Vietnam Memorial. I didn't use it then, but I might just use it now.

    If anyone else is still out there writing, I am with you! And I have leftover Halloween candy to share if you need some chocolate.

  86. Hey, SemFem! I thought I was going to have to hit 100 all by myself. Or not.

    I'm at 'preachable' albeit 'pitiful'. I'm hoping some shut-eye will reboot the adrenaline for a high polish on this thing. I keep telling myself it's not like anyone rewrites their pledge card because of how inspirational the sermon was... or hopefully not the other way either.

    Enough rambling. Good luck SemFem, I hope the headache remains away!

  87. Good morning to early birds and late night writers!

    I enjoyed that extra hour of shut eye and woke up to find that my LSU Tigers pulled out a close one last night. I also woke up in need of coffee, so help yourselves to the freshly brewed stuff over there.

    RevTSM, prayers for you and yours and for God to hear your plea. You are among others (myself included) who have made that particular transition as a Rev. We are here for you.

    May the Spirit breathe sermon words into words of life for each of you and your congregations today.

  88. Good morning Sharon! I continued to doze on and off throughout the night until about 5 am, and now I am finally rolling. It certainly took long enough to find a story that kicked off my words, but finally things are flowing. They just need to flow QUICKLY now!

  89. I'm back, too. I've got. My notes that came as I was drifting off to sleep. Thy might get turned into a manuscript. Kinda funny after all my tough talk about preaching without notes. That was part of my point about preparation. While sometimes people think it takes less prep, for me it takes just as much AND earlier prep to get it all to sink in. A manuscript I can write a couple of no hours before and be fine since it's there to lean on!

  90. This manuscript preacher would dispute the idea that manuscripts exist to simply provide a crutch for the under-prepared preacher. But maybe it's a little early in the morning for that kind of debate.
    RevTSB, you have my prayers. I went through a similar experience in seminary. You are definitely not alone here.

  91. 817 words here for this manuscript preacher. Need to bring it on home!

    The sun is up high enough that I am fighting a sense of panic that I am horribly late...I just have to keep looking at the adjusted clocks...

  92. So sorry that I said it that way, SB. I DEFINITELY don't think that. Not at all. I have received a lot of flack for manuscripts written in what some see as the last minute, but I know very well that that even last minute manuscripts (for me) are not unprepared manuscripts. I still do a LOT of preparation that just can't be seen.

    I also know and fully believe that neither form of preaching is the "ideal" one and have been meaning to add to the conversation that no one should feel the need to change styles because one is "more advanced" than the other.

    What I love and miss about my manuscripts are the well-thought out sentence structures, the carefully placed words and phrases, the assurance that I will say the things I believe the Spirit wants me to say in the way that I feel called to say them, so for me maybe leaning wasn't the write turn of phrase (guess I didn't put that word so carefully). I can write a manuscript rather quickly (because of all the internal "writing" that has been going on, and I know the words will be just where I want them. I can't get close to that kind of assurance without a manuscript really no matter how earlier I prepare, but definitely not at this point in the game. I don't view it as a crutch at all; just a reality.

    For me my preparation isn't any more or less for either kind of preaching. It's just that the solidification of the sermon takes place at a different time for each - - earlier without notes, but later with them. Not a value judgement either way, just the way it is for me.

    Again, I'm so so sorry that I said it in a way that was devaluing. I definitely didn't mean it that way.

  93. Good morning all. This has been a full weekend the RevGals. Yet we all know that the Holy Spirit has our backs.

    RevTSB, you are in my prayers and in my heart.

  94. Yay! 100 comments. You may now go back to your regularly scheduled programs. ;)

  95. WTG, GodGurrl, and prayers with you today as you say goodbye!

    I just got a phone call that a saint has died in the night. Heavy hearts will be in church today. And that also meant I had to rework the sermon somewhat. But, it's done now and I am off to quickly get ready for church.

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

  96. TSB, praying for you this week.
    SemFem, God will send comfort

    blessings to all as we go forth with the HS this morning/day/evening

  97. Living on the edge - - about 30 minutes until I need to get dressed, and I haven't even checked to see if there are matching work-appropriate clothes in my closet.

  98. Can I just vent one minute here? We offer both wine and grape juice for Communion. People don't always seem to grasp that the grape juice is just as much Communion as the other two elements. Therefore when a relative tells the little four-year-old girl she can have some grape juice, because she thinks it "doesn't count," and then her mom doesn't want her to receive Communion, guess who ends up looking like the bad guy? Me. Great.

    On a related note, I am going to do everything I can to try and rearrange my schedule so I can take a holy nap today, because boy do I need it.


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