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Saturday, December 03, 2011

11th Hour Preacher Party: Locusts and Wild Honey Edition

or wait, is that wild locusts and honey? 

Anyway, it's quite a breakfast for our 2 Advent preacher party!

We're moving into week 2 of our Advent season.  Special guest?  John the Baptist.  Special food?  Locusts and wild honey.  Or, if you'd like, blueberry pancakes and fair trade coffee. 

Today, we're featuring several themes (besides food):  there's road construction, repentance, comfort, and waiting.  There's the day of the Lord, and the patience of God.  You could be preparing the way with John, in the wilderness with the exiles, or waiting for 1,000 years with Peter.  Or, something else entirely.

Where are your advent wanderings taking you?  What are you singing?  What are you praying?  What are you writing?  And what are you eating?

Be sure to check on this good discussion on the texts here

And be sure to join the party throughout the day.  Do not be glum, even if you are eating locusts and wild honey.  After all, I hear that some parts are edible.....

117 comments:

  1. Fun! I actually went and looked it up, at one point, and was astonished to discover that certain species of locust ARE KOSHER...who knew?

    I think I'm going with peace/shalom and "comfort ye, comfort ye" and what that has to do with peace. And trying to be brief, in spite of Peter...

    finding my pillow now, back atcha in the morning!

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  2. I'm off lectionary with Zechariah's song. sermon was half written before dinner. Back to finish off, after icing biscuits, making rocky road and eating leftovers. Hope I still like what I have written :)

    this week I have also chosen the Carols for the service on 23rd December, and started planning 1st January. hopefully next week I will get a good start on Christmas Day, before chaos completely takes over in the two weeks prior to Christmas.

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  3. woohoo! I get to party today - haven't for a few weeks for one reason and another. But, today is going to be a day of cooking, cleaning, laundry, sermonating - and I'm excited about that! D'you think I need to get a life?
    Anyway, I LOVE John the Baptist crashing in to mess up our cosy nativity scenes, so I'm preaching on him and the changed landscape in which we're being called to live out the gospel.
    I have some fresh blueberries, raspberries and blackberries to share - almost wild!

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  4. so far I have crossed more out than I have added.

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  5. I started again, then added in most of what I had already written. it is a little short, but tomorrow is communion, and with Advent candles and Christmas bowl, the sermon can be a little shorter.
    hope you all have a great Saturday.
    Peace

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  6. welcome, early partiers! thanks for the sermon, pearl. can't wait to read it.

    Crimson, like the emphasis on comfort, and yes, liz, I too like how John crashes our parties. but I'm going with "waiting..." at least in part because our congregation is in transition and waiting for a new senior pastor. and "what do we do while we wait?"


    john does come in, briefly, tho I think.

    we'll see. I'm done, but I'm not done.. in other words, it's going to change.

    be back in a little while.

    have some honey. I'l start the pancakes soon.

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  7. I am preaching on preparing the way through the wilderness of our crazy lives. Follows on last weeks waiting with patience

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  8. Good morning, ladies and party on! I am drinking coffee and pondering how to get thee up to a high mountain! I love John the Baptist, but the Isaiah text drew me in this week - am hoping to finish up soon so that I can do a little decking of the halls.

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  9. welcome Rhonda! that sounds like a very apt preaching theme. as well as the "waiting with patience one."

    how is everyone doing? now it's getting light and I'll get the coffee on.

    fair trade toffee caramel?

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  10. Hi Chilly Fingers! good to welcome you! glad to have you here!

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  12. Good morning preachers!

    We are singing "Comfort ye, comfort ye my people" tomorrow--one of my favorite Advent hymns. And I think I am going to talk about prophets and their roles naw where we might here prophetic voices today. At least that's the plan! For now...

    Lots of banging going on outside as new storm windows are installed on the rectory. Hurrah--fewer drafts now AND good screens so I can open more windows next summer.

    Blueberries, kefir, and Kashi cereal here for breakfast. Help yourselves.

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  13. Hate autocorrect! *and* Why it changed it to naw I"ll never now.

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  14. RevDrMom -- welcome --and thanks for the blueberries, kefir and kashi.

    good to hear about the storm windows!

    I like "Comfort, Comfort Ye my People" as well. (I like lots of music...)

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  15. um, RevDrMom, would this be autocorrect on ipad? (jealous)

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  16. I'm pairing the Isaiah and Mark passages, and the ways that "the glory of the Lord" come into the world, working from the blinding big ones to the guy in the wilderness to the incarnation--and its radical glory and strength in love. Then leading into communion with the end of the poem "Christmas" by John Betjamin (check out the Advent Poetry page on JourneywithJesus.net):

    And is it true,
    This most tremendous tale of all,
    Seen in a stained-glass window's hue,
    A Baby in an ox's stall ?
    The Maker of the stars and sea
    Become a Child on earth for me ?

    And is it true ? For if it is,
    No loving fingers tying strings
    Around those tissued fripperies,
    The sweet and silly Christmas things,
    Bath salts and inexpensive scent
    And hideous tie so kindly meant,

    No love that in a family dwells,
    No carolling in frosty air,
    Nor all the steeple-shaking bells
    Can with this single Truth compare -
    That God was man in Palestine
    And lives today in Bread and Wine.

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  17. good morning again, RGs! and Mary B., THANK YOU, I needed that little "slug" of Betjeman to get me primed for the season -- for me it chimes with Buechner's observation about preaching and the folks who listen, whose question is always, at some level, IS THIS TRUE? And in some way, at some level, with some confidence, we always have to tell them, THIS IS TRUE (and worthy of all acceptation)...

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  18. thank you to Mary! and Crimson Rambler.

    I'm sort of struggling with the ending of my sermon, where I want to turn from what we do while we wait to waiting with expectation of surprise... for the long-expected Jesus is always un-expected. Maybe that's what repentance is.

    But IS IT TRUE? I needed the reminder of that question. keep going, don't give up, and prepare to be surprised.

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  19. Good morning, revgals! Mary, thanks for sharing that poem. Love it!

    We are off-lectionary all Advent, and preaching from Advent+Christmas hymns+carols. Tomorrow, I am preaching on People, look east . I was really excited about it several days ago, but I feel like I've lost some steam. Am hoping I can get my enthusiasm back.

    I have sugar cookies to share. Please, take them!

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  20. Good morning all! I don't have a clear direction yet. Godspell's 'prepare ye' keeps running through my head. I like the image of road construction - we've had some major road repairs around here so it would be a great metaphor. I'm also drawn to the first verse in Mark - the beginning of the good news and all that is implied in 'beginning' and 'good news.' And I'm toying with preaching an introduction to Mark and the mystery of who Jesus is.

    Last year, I told a congregation that Matthew tells the Christmas story from Joseph's view, Luke from Mary's view and John from God's view. I wonder if Mark tells the story from the disciples view - they don't know where this man came from, but they see in his actions God breaking in to our world. I'm still playing with it.

    I'm baking today - Amish Friendship Bread starter is a demanding boss! And there's a tree festival at the local school this evening. And a bulletin to finish as well as the sermon to write.

    As far as the locusts - I hear they are quite good dipped in chocolate!

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  21. As I venture back to church after my surgery, I am preaching last year's sermon about JB. No one has heard it and most have no concept of the lectionary, so they'll be fine with it. I had so looked forward to talking about beginnings with the first of THIS year's passage, but the past few weeks have required me to embrace the concepts of letting go and accepting what I can do without pushing myself. And I am trying to set an example: start with worship, and gradually move outward from there.

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  22. Welcome, Ramona, earthchick, and Robin. Robin, I think your sustainable sermons probably are better than some new ones. go for it. I trust you.

    Ramona, I'll be interested to see where you end up. also re the Amish Friendship Bread, our Advent evening worship is "A Foretaste of the Feast to come." Wouldn't it be lovely if we had some friendship bread to share?

    and earthchick! I love love love People, Look EAst. I hope you get your mojo back soon.

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  23. welcome to Glenda today. thanks for the link.

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  24. welcome to Glenda today. thanks for the link.

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  25. Hi All,
    I'm doing a little series on the guys' perspective on the season, so off lectionary a bit.
    Today, Zechariah. Next week, John. Next week, Joseph. Right now, my focus is how the encounter with God changed each of them, and how does our encounter with God change us?
    Learned in Bib study that many (most?) people dont know who Zechariah is. And, he doesnt appear in the lectionary at all, so I can see why. Anyway, I was planning to do a monologue, but might need more backstory than that.
    On a personal note, I am feeling kind of sorry for myself bec our youth person is taking off for greener pastures. The position is 10 hours a week, and this is the second person we've lost to a better job elsewhere in less than a year. The last one left on Easter (shouldnt there be a law about advent and holy week and giving notice in a church setting?). So anyway, a minute ago I was wrapping up some eamil and then on my here to whinge, when I found this link from a parishioner in my inbox. Kind of hard to feel sorry for myself now...
    http://vimeo.com/32982150
    (the whole thing is really lovely, but you can see a bit about the church at just after 3 and a half minutes).
    Ok, off to ponder what it means to be speechless before God. ANd believe me, this is a tricky one for me. :) See you all later!

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  26. I love all the variety of Christmas music. Perhaps I should not be listening...as my sermon had ideas but no words on paper...and the words in my head are to the music.

    Snow, cold, and wind...maybe I'll start come soup...yet another diversion.

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  27. ...some soup

    I need that auto-correct.

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  28. mark is the text. here's hoping this all day meeting gives me something for the sermon or there's a sustainable one I can find in my dropbox via my phone app.

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  29. this is the comment where I actually subscribe to the email

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  30. Mark for me, I have a beginning (catchy I think) and an end (at least one good line) but for the middle I have only nutcracker tickets at 1:00 pm - sigh.
    still working on it now and plan to stop to shower soon and get ready. but things keep coming up.
    but that's advent, isn't it?

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  31. Welcome, Vicar, Juniper, Purple, Nancy.... whew!

    Juniper, so creative! thanks for the link.

    purple, thanks for the soup.

    Vicar, I hear you. I think I need a sustainable ending. (sigh)

    Nancy, yes. something keeps coming up.

    I feel a little distracted. I thought I had a meeting with a couple at ten, and so here I am, but I just found out that the meeting is really at 10:30. (sigh.)

    will be back soon.

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  32. Greetings all!

    I have missed the party for a while--this and that--but am so glad to be re-joining you!

    I'm doing a mini-series for Advent (well, that's sort of a given, isn't it?) with the common theme of a journey--planning/packing, leaving, the journey itself (with possible crisis in the trip) and finally arrival. So today I am using Isaiah and JBap to talk about leaving, the road we take being blazed ahead of us, etc. Not exactly sure how I will do that, though!

    I am also doing laundry and some other household-y things. Hope to be done early so I can go watch the Christmas parade with friends before meeting up with other friends later...but I may have to forgo the parade to get this done. No real heartbreak there!

    I have some assorted Christmas cookies for afternoon tea--help yourselves!

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  33. welcome Rainbow! always glad to have you with us....

    and your cookies.

    anyone need more coffee? or tea? with honey?

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  34. Thanks, Mary B., for the Advent poetry page link. I'm going with Isaiah, and peace, and the Daniel Berrigan poem is perfect.

    Wish our hymnals had "Comfort, Comfort Ye My People."

    I really like Preaching This Week's commentary on Isaiah.

    Triple Berry muffins, chocolate chip muffins, hot chocolate to offer!

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  35. REvTSB --

    thanks for the chocolate chip muffins and hot chocolate.

    I hear a little snow is coming our way.

    how about you?

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  36. Is it bad that I would rather stay here, with a Star Trek movie marathon in the background while I finish this sermon than go catch the 2nd half of Nutcracker? AND I've already pad for the tickets!

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  37. Rev Nancy -- I say go with the flow...

    Star Trek movie marathon.

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  38. Rev Nancy -- I say go with the flow...

    Star Trek movie marathon.

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  40. Diane,
    We had snow here early, but now it's gone.... my boys are still trying to scrape some up and throw it at each other!

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  41. Thank you Walter Brueggemann...for insight into the Matthew's story of Joseph which I am preaching tomorrow.

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  42. Hello, friends!
    Mark and Isaiah here with a touch of the Psalms.
    Title: Deck the Halls (Christmas carol speak for "Prepare ye the way")

    I'm working on that Christmas decorating to do list:
    Put up the tree.
    Hang up the wreath.
    Repent of your sins.

    WHA?????!!!!

    Or something.

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  43. earthchick, since I read your comment this morning, I've been humming "People, Look East!" I love that one, so thank you! None of my teensy supply congregations claim to know it.

    Been playing preacher's wife this week, so now hubby is hanging out with the girls this afternoon. I've given very little thought to this sermon this week, so I think I've got a long afternoon ahead of me. Off lectionary, with the annunciation to Mary. I like my title, which is "Impossibly Favored," but I have no idea what I meant by that or where I'm headed.

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  44. My lectionary-avoiding Advent continues tomorrow with the Annunciation and continuing on to Mary's encounter with Elizabeth. I have a lot of notes and some writing, was at church all morning and have to be back there at 6 for a potluck (nothing cooked or baked) and a wrapped Christmas ornament (::crickets::). So basically, I'm in trouble here.

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  45. Yikes, Songbird. I'd send you something if I had it...

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  46. Late in the day and I am stopping in for the first time! I have a number of health crises in the parish that have me worried and distracted - a young woman with a severe allergic reaction to something, and an older woman who had a car accident that left her with with a shattered hip....both are in a lot of pain. And, each of the Sunday's in Advent has some major other component to it - Thanksgiving weekend, a Rite 13 service, a Bishops' vist, and a guest choir leading lessons and carols. What I really want is just be present, quite, slow. sigh...

    Anyway, tonight I have to attend the supper celebration for the Rite 13 celebreties....breaking my no activities on Saturday night rule. Still, it should be fun.

    My sermon is coming along. I managed to get a bit of it organized on Thursday, and have been noodling on it since. So, portions of it poured out of me...I have a draft that I am allowing to just perculate before I wrap it up and publish it.

    Now, off to the church to tend to a few things....

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  47. The sermon will be okay; it's the potluck that worries me. I decided to bring a hand-knit Christmas stocking ornament that I made many years ago, because I have more than one. (At least I think I do, better check that.)

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  48. kathrynzj You've got the feel of John there, or at least what I'm trying to communicate in my sermon. Hopefully it will have a point by the time it's done.
    Oh and I skipped the nutcracker, Next year I'm not even buying the tickets.

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  49. SB, I encourage you to extend the grace of the season to yourself and pick up something at Whole Foods for the potluck.

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  50. Songbird, I've been informed by more than one person that preachers are exempt from bringing food to potlucks. For real. Or kathryn's suggestion is good, too.

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  51. It would be different if my wife were here to fix something for me. ;-)

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  52. Sermon is done. I was looking for a new wallpaper for Advent 2...go here for a bit of a sermon prep break

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  53. Ha!

    Well, I've typed in what I wrote out on the plane plus some and have pitifully little to show for it - not even 2 pages (I aim for 4). I'm going to step away from the computer and take my ponderings to the shower. The Boy should be home soon too so I most likely won't be back here until much later.

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  54. At our diocesan convention: fun to see friends, and a mix of interesting and not so much.

    I ask your prayers for all those who have been affected by the extreme wind storms in the L.A. area this week. About 95% of my congregation and even more of my sons' classmates lost power, with many still in the dark. Huge trees down, cars and homes damaged, businesses closed...it is like a hurricane, minus the rain. Amazingly, I have not heard of a single injury! I am enjoying having an Internet connection at convention; I have been feeling way out of touch, which tells me how attached I am to my Internet access...

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  55. Betsy - will be praying

    SB - I had the same wish LAST night when I arrived at a potluck with an uncooked box of minute rice. So tacky, on one hand, on the other hand - well, no wife to make it advance, you know?

    Ok, nothing written but back from a good run/walk (more walk than run, still better than nothing) and now have hopefully about 40 min to get some stuff that came up during that time on paper.

    Instead of a sermon could we just sing The Canticle of the Turning 4 times in a row and then sit down?

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  56. Juniper, great story in the video.


    I'll be back in a few hours; it is almost church time here.

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  57. Hm. I think I've said it, but it's pretty short. Think anyone will notice and/or mind?

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  58. No sermon, no bulletin, no calendar, no ideas, nada, nothing...

    On the other hand I do have brownies and oatmeal cranberry chip cookies.

    May I please have a sermon?

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  59. Think anyone would care if at sermon time, I just said, "Let's all sing Christmas carols for the next 10-15 minutes"??

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  60. Oh ramona, you're cracking me up. Do you really want an answer to that question?

    Mine came together easier than I thought. Thank you, workingpreacher.org! And I consulted an actual, printed book. That hasn't happened in a while.

    Now to the prayers. And I have some time left to work on some curriculum I'm supposed to write.

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  61. Maybe if you give them some brownies and cookies as well, ramona. :)

    Greetings friends...after a busy morning and early afternoon, I am (hopefully) settling down to do some sermonizing. I have been semi-good about thinking about the text before today, and even making some notes...so let's see if it pays off.

    As appealing as the "comfort ye" text is, I think I'm going with Mark. I am skipping next Sunday's JBap reading and going straight to the Annunciation, so this is my one and only pass at JBap this year. I am struggling a bit with this image I have in my head of him as the religious flavor of the week--that all these people who were hungry for prophecy were flooding out into the wilderness to hear him--how many of them actually stuck around long enough to witness what he was talking about? Also pondering BBT's sermon on this next in Home By Another Way.

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  62. Unlike my usual sermon writing, I've had words just spilling out of me all over the page today, which has become a problem in the opposite direction. My sermon needs to be on the shorter side, since it's communion. I'm still writing, but I'm already at the word count I was aiming for. Oops! Furthermore, I had this opening that I really loved, but it was going to tie into an ending that I had in mind, but now that I'm almost at the end, I feel like my ending no longer works. But if I ditch it, then the beginning probably no longer works either. Oy!

    Gonna take a bit of a break to do a tiny piece of Christmas shopping and then take a fresh look.

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  63. hi. back from lunch with my husband, and open house for the 93rd birthday party of a parish member. she's really in a nursing home, they they allowed her to come home, just for the afternoon, and some friends are throwing the party.

    so now, I've got a sermon for the early edition at 5:00, such as it is. we'll see.


    stepson wants us to go see Andrew Bird with him tonight but I AM SO TIRED. I just want to stay home with blankets and popcorn and the preacher party.

    the way I feel about my sermon right now, I might just say "hey! let's sing christmas carols for 10-15 minutes!" but, we'll see.

    I'm gonna go practice now.

    why am I so tired? why am I so tired?

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  64. Hello again, I've finally got something reasonable. Ramona, if you'll edit it for flow, you can have it!
    I've finished worship, now have to make a little doll costume for JBap to make my illustration work.

    The things I decide to do....

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  65. I got home from the all day thing then I remembered there's a Sunday School party tonight! It will be fun but really I'd rather stay home. I've located a sustainable sermon to work on but I've got to have a nap first. So I'll be back much later to party with y'all.

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  66. Brownies and cookies while we sing our sermon...I could bring milk too. Better not - everyone would be too full from cookies and milk for communion after the sermon. Or maybe there's always room for the body and blood (just like Jello!).

    Ok, I think I am officially loosing it. Bulletin and calendar is done. Still no sermon and I can't get Godspell's Prepare ye out of my brain. I should have written down my musings on this text from the nursing home worship earlier this week - at least it'd be something. Alas, I can't remember what I said.

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  67. Well, here in NM we're in winter storm mode. The two mountain churches I serve got 8-10 inches of snow last night, with more on the way, so they have canceled church. In southern NM the snow plows are few and far between! :P

    So tomorrow we're cleaning and decorating the house!

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  68. I guess the good news as I leave for the potluck is that I have too much sermon rather than not enough, and it's all the same sermon (not two or three, of which there was an epidemic last week, right?), so when I get home I'll be editing.
    See y'all later!

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  69. Ramona- I fixed the JtB Godspell sound track problem in my brain by choosing to sing the Prepare the way opening ... grateful my congregation is very tolerant that way. I think I have almost a sermon - no real ending but crazy busy day tomorrow- short will be good! Off to a live nativity at a church up the road. Just about everyone in "tiny town" puts on a snowmoble suit for warmth and comes out to play a part! 4-H brings animals and sometimes they even find a camel for the kings.
    potluck tomorrow- still need to do a store run for supplies. Will check in later to encourage and pray for those still writing.

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  70. SB, I often take the "single clergy exemption" when I comes to potlucks (meaning I don't cook). If I take something I make a simple salad (which I do when I think it might be the only thing there I can eat, vegetarian weight watcher than I am in a heavily Italian and Polish area)....WF is a great option too and you have the best WF!

    Betsy, prayers for all those without power--having been there and done that twice this fall I know all too well how difficult it can be.

    I'm here with nothing but a heading written -- had a wardens meeting, went up to the estate sale we holding for a parishioner who died last summer and left everything to the church, ran to the store to get clementines for St. Nicholas' day tomorrow, a quick run to *bux for a skinny peppermint mocha, and totally avoided the sermon...I hope inspiration hits or it will be a late night.

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  71. Bulletins and calendars done and the worship space prepared for one congregation. Still no sermon, but I do have a outline. We'll see if it works when I sit down to write.

    I have to go to a community supper and Christmas tree display. I'd rather stay home, but pastor needs to make an appearance. Maybe the Holy Spirit will hit me upside the head with inspiration while I look at trees!

    Rev Nancy - Thanks for your generous offer. I may just have to 'borrow' your sermon.

    It's going to be a long night!

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  72. Jiminy Crickets - there is a lot going on here today! I have just returned from our Rite 13 supper and rehearsal for the ceremony tomorrow. Our young 13 year olds were in fine form as they shared stories about their strengths and gifts. Delightful.

    but now...I have to find where I left that sermon five hours ago...sigh...I hope it has managed to do some work on itself so I don't have as much to do...lol

    tea anyone? or how about some homemade oatmeal/cranberry/white chocolate cookies?

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  73. I am one of those people who cannot get into the sermon until I have the intro nailed down...and that intro is completely eluding me tonight. I have procrastinated every way I know how. but it is getting to be crunch time!

    Terri, I love Rite13 ceremonies! And I'd love a cookie; they sound yummy!

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  74. okay, I'm back from the early edition at 5:00 tonight, and i guess the sermon'll do. It is snowing here and it was a slippery drive home.

    Betsy, your community is in my prayers this weekend.

    I'm at a loss because I really screwed up my knitting project on friday night and haven't tried to touch it to fix it yet. I want to be knitting, but don't want to make my mistake worse. I'm going to get professional help on Monday, I think.

    In the meantime, I feel a little like a smoker who needs a cigarette. Sheesh!

    how is everybody? what do you need? pizza? hot cocoa? (sorry, it IS Christmasy here).

    I do have popcorn.

    and I'll take one of all of the cookies offered.

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  75. RevDrMom -- that is exactly how I feel about the intro to the sermon!

    prayers that yours stops eluding you.

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  76. RevDrMom - here's a couple of cookies - I am just like you when it comes to sermon writing! I can have pages of notes but if I don't have intro to get me into it...sigh..sorry you are in that place tonight, it is an icky place..

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  77. Rev Dr Mom, I'm the same way about needing the intro in order to get into the sermon.

    I was so happy with my intro idea and how I thought I was going to come back around to it at the end to wrap things up. But now I am coming to terms with the sad fact that I need to delete the whole first page. I think the sermon will be better and tighter because of it, but now I'm lacking a nice opening line!

    Argh.

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  78. Ditto here on the intro!

    I think I have procrastinated my way through the afternoon and into the evening, and now the church is cold and I'm hungry. So I am adjourning to home to eat the final Thanksgiving leftovers, warm up under a cozy blanket, and hopefully find my intro and therefore my sermon.

    [At least I procrastinated by doing very useful things...like paying bills, and doing Christmas shopping, and tallying up my mileage (to pay for the shopping).]

    Home is having some internet issues, so I may not be able to post here again...if not, may the Holy Spirit be in all our words tonight and tomorrow!

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  80. I have had a good day - sermonized, walked, cooked, and I have washed my brand new snowman flannel sheets. They will comfort me, comfort me, my people!

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  81. Another vote for the all-important intro.

    OK, printer just finished up, still miles to go before I sleep.

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  82. Back from the community dinner. Good chili, but no sermon inspiration. And now I just want to sleep.

    Back to it. Maybe I can wrestle something preachable out of my scribbles by 9. That would be good.

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  83. Juniper, I love that sermon series idea! And, that video clip is wonderful! Thank you for sharing it.

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  84. Chilly fingers, you have snowmen flannel sheets? (jealous)...

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  85. okay, it seems like it's just about time to go around and read sermons. will be doing this soon.

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  86. I'm back.
    How in the world did the sermon get worse while I was away?

    Moving my place of operations to the upstairs loft because that will make it better, right?

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  87. Ok. I think I have read all the sermons offered here thus far.....and, caught up pn the posts posted here....now I think I will enjoy a cup of tea, a fire in the fireplace, and little bit of, "It's a Wonderful Life".

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  88. My intro is WEAK. That's a problem because lots of the rest is good. I'm trying to tell a story without telling what it's really about (can't explain here, even), and that seems like a cop-out even if it's unavoidable.
    My plan is to read it all over and see what I can do with it in the next half hour. Ready? Set? Go!

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  89. Mmm, I'm jealous of the snowmen flannel sheets, too! My husband doesn't care for flannel sheets. Waah!

    But on a happier note, I seem to be done with the sermon. I mercilessly deleted my beloved beginning, reshaped what was left, and I think it will preach. It was a lot of fun learning about the author of the text of People, look east, and I've enjoyed the time I've spent with the hymn over the last few days. This sermon feels really different from my usual, but I'm hopeful it'll go all right.

    Thinking of the rest of you. Blessed Advent to all.

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  90. OK, I think I've got it together altho' it's pretty simple: Comfort in the announcement of God's 'Shalom' on a human scale -- Isaiah and the Psalm lay it out: then Peter pries it out of our usual perspective on time, and Mark slams it right back in again...and it's all TRUE.

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  91. "Oh, it's the sermon that never ends. It just goes on and on agian. I started writing it not knowing what it was, and I'llbe writing it forever just because" the ending eludes me!!!

    Maybe it's time for chocolate. Or wine.

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  92. Ramona, I find that chocolate often helps, but wine on a Saturday night means I sleep even more poorly than usual....sigh...on the other hand, walking away from my sermon to take a bath, or a walk, or a something, sometimes helps me find that elusive ending. And, sometimes I just stop. And hope it comes to me...anyway, I hear you on the sermon that goes on and on...sigh...hoping it comes to you!

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  93. Sometimes you just have to throw up your hands, and live with what you've got. That's where I am. Funny, I'm preaching Prepare ye the way of the Lord, but I feel very unprepared.

    I need prayer - I'm feeling stressed, and burned out. I find myself dreading tomorrow with communion at both services and communion at the nursing home service. I know I'll have energy when the time comes tomorrow - God never fails me when it's time to lead worssip. But I'm running on empty and need to recharge.

    Teri - you're right about the wine. I don't sleep as well either if I've had a glass or two. Thanks for the reminder.

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  94. okay guys. sorry to wimp out, but I'm going to go to bed.

    Ramona, though, I will pray for you tonight before I go to bed. I know where-of you speak. I feel burned out a lot lately.

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  95. Crimson, I like your sermon idea better than mine. trade you, okay?

    now I just have to say that the Holy Spirit will work with it and get some sleep...

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  96. Am I 100?

    I have a beginning...and a middle. Now I am in search of an ending to tie it all together. I am also very sleepy, but I am not the sort of preacher who can go to bed and get up to finish it up in the morning, so I'' be slogging away for a bit longer.

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  97. ugh - unpreachable.
    BUT, I'm done and heading to bed, setting the alarm at 5, but expecting the Spirit to come knocking early.

    Blessings for and upon you all.

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  98. Ack! I just showed up and don't have anything but what is in my head. Although, I don't think what's there is half bad. I just need to get it out of my head and on a screen or piece of paper somewhere. My minor worry is trying to get it all a little more focused, less complex. I've got to keep this one really shot for me, like hopefully no more than 1000 words, definitely not more than 1,200. Hard for me.

    No good excuse for the late start writing it down except a wonderful day spent with the family. Wouldn't trade that for any sermon. Guess it's time to get started.

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  99. Prayers for those of you finishing up sermons. I don't know quite what to do when I'm home without a sermon to write on Sunday night (sorry, not trying to rub it in!).......anyway, we had a nice evening of Rudolph and the Grinch, so I'm off to bed in a bit, and get to sleep late for a Sunday. Blessings.

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  100. Done. Saved and sent to the iPad. I am too tired to know if it is really preachable. I am counting on the fact that the Holy Spirit has our backs.

    Good luck, SheRev. Hope you are not up too late.

    Goodnight all. Sleep well.

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  101. I'm back. I'm tinkering on a sustainable sermon but I really would rather be in bed. The day has already been too long without a decent nap. We'll see how long I can keep my eyes open to work on this because I could manage to edit on the fly in the morning if I really had to.

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  102. Got my outline on virtual paper. I like it enough to go to bed and write in the morning. The hardest part will be actually getting out of bed in the morning. We, too, put our flannel sheets on the bed this weekend. Super toasty! I'll see those of you on the early morning crew shortly!

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  103. I'm headed to bed as well. Blessings on your Sunday

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  104. HAd a good day yesterday cooking, cleaning, even remodelling the study. Sadly, sermonating didn't go so well. So, up early and finally have a sermon
    May we all find blessing in our places of worship today.

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  105. Pulled my usual and fell asleep before I had a sermon even started...just woke up. (Pleasantly surprised to have internet working at home, though...but that is not necessarily a good thing for the sermon getting done.)

    Let's see how this goes. Glad most everyone else is finished already.

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  106. I'll be walking it proud this morning - it's a short walk too, but no one ever complained about the church service being too short, right?

    Blessings upon all of you this Advent 2.

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  107. You got that right, kathrynzj!

    560 words and I am trucking right along. I'll put the coffee on for the early risers.

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  108. Good morning! I'm here too. Somehow I pushed snooze a couple of times. Predicted THAT! Getting to it now and hoping it stays nice and short this morning.

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  109. Welcome back, SheRev :)

    1062 words and I am in search of a conclusion...because I need to go get ready for church!

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  110. good morning everyone! Coffee here and blessings to you. and a reminder that, of course, the Holy Spirit has our backs.

    Absolutely.

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  111. Done, off to print, eat some breakfast, and then off to church!

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

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  112. Things are moving slower than I hoped, but I'll be done on time. It's definitely weird having just this one sermon in all of Advent. I feel like I've got to get all the different aspects and angles in one (shorter than usual) sermon.

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