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Saturday, April 14, 2012

11th Hour Preacher Party: "The Sunday After" Edition

ConfettiHello to all the preachers who drew the short straw on "Low Sunday"!

You know who you are. 
You didn't schedule a vacation week for the week after Easter.  
Your church isn't mentoring a seminary intern who can "practice preach" this week.
Or, in my case, the Conference Annual Meeting is this weekend at a nearby resort, and our church didn't afford to send me this year.

It's often called "Low Sunday" -- low attendance, low expectations, and maybe even low preacher energy after last week's big blow out.

But no matter.

Like the disciples in the Upper Room, we might not have reason to expect much this weekend, but perhaps that's just when something -- or someone! -- amazing could show up.

As a matter of fact, here YOU are and I am so glad you stopped by today!

Grab a cup of coffee -- it's always fresh, hot, and Fair Trade.  

Share whatever you have brought to the party -- what you are eating, what bothers you or excites you today, what you need prayer for.  

The door is open!  Come right in!

129 comments:

  1. Low Sunday at the end og a long low week... well perhaps not quite but we all know what we mean!! I have a wedding later today so wasn't able to take this week off. But Hey!! I am off for two weeks of conference & study from Monday. Coffee and bacon for breakfast on a cold morning. I have just printed off the wedding and most of the service for tomorrow is done - just the small matter of the sermon.... theme is "Open your Eyes" all the things we look at without really seeing. How we need to learn to see with heart, and mind and soul and not just the eye. Particularly serendipitous is that on our rota for prayers this week is the mother of a profoundly disabled, blind boy. Matthew teaches us all so much about how to express what is seen without eyes...

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  2. a slow week, mainly due to blocked sinuses, which also means my brain, like the rest of me, is on a go-slow. Here is a very short sermon
    For various reasons I am also doing children's talk and prayers of the people - both usually rostered but not this week. It is School holidays here, so no Sunday School, but there is a Baptism, so there will be some young children.
    and the result of not being well this week, is my voice is not strong, so a short sermon won't hurt, and if my voice starts to give out, someone can read the rest of the service. At least my voice is stronger in the morning than afternoon.
    I have the next 2 Sundays off preaching, so time to catch up on a few other matters - like an annual report, and maybe even some cleaning up in my office :)

    plenty of left over Easter eggs, anyone want to help finish them off for me?

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    1. I love Easter Eggs, toss some over here to me.

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  3. Good morning. ITs a beautiful, sunny, if chilly morning in Scotland. Been cleaning up around the church this morning and now we're off to take a walk to one of the Scottish Covenanters pulpits - with an American guest - love showing off this wonderful place we live. Not preaching tomorrow, so making the most of a wee breather. Will worship with my people though and pick up any pastoral concerns for coming week - I've had a light week this week, spending good time with family and friends.
    Hey. Sharon, thanks for hosting - hope to look in later and offer encouragement! x

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    1. Happy low Sunday, liz. It is warm here. Too warm even for a suit jacket. Went to the Opera last night, then got up molto early to get J. off to the women's retreat. So now back to the sermon.

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  4. What a challenging week, Pearl! Prayers for your endurance. Thanks for the Easter eggs; I never seem to get tired of them.

    Enjoy your conference/study leave, Julie. "Open Your Eyes" -- good one! I will take that with me through this day. What will I see, and then open up to see again?

    I just did a (fasting) home blood work thing -- something to do with wellness from the health insurance. I confess that I didn't do as well at it as someone should who was a med tech in a former career life. Perhaps my hubris going into it didn't help! I fear that I will be tagged for a do-over. (pout)

    Fresh coffee smells like success! Help yourselves!

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    1. Whenever the word "fasting" is involved, there is fear, too. Glad that's over for you!

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    2. It is 5 pm; the wedding was freezing, the bride had a wee wardrobe disaster (but her best friend had her sewing kit!) I have just printed off the sermon and all is well. Time to light the fire, cook dinner and call Al in from the garden where he has been working away all afternoon!
      Blessings girls...

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  5. Hey back, Liz!

    Someday, will you show off your Scotland to me?

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    1. sharon, would LOVE LOVE LOVE to show off Scotland to you!
      Did you know I too was a med tech in a former life - specialised in Haematology and Blood Group Serology! x

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  6. A week off? I would have been content with a day off! A memorial service this afternoon and a party tonight. Had to finish early this week. With deep gratitude to Dan Clendenin and Journey with Jesus,
    here it is

    Looking forward to the conversation today. Now to write the memorial service homily.

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  7. RevAlli, whatever resources you may have borrowed from, you made it real and personal to a specific community. I was ready to move to Albuquerque to be part of it. And I'm only half kidding.

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    1. Love to have you at St. Michael's. There's always room for more! And Albuquerque today is a beautiful place to be.

      What a good and welcoming host you are.

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  8. RevAlli, thanks for the jump start. I confess that I haven't even thought about tomorrow's sermon yet and I really can't blame that on a busy week. So you have helped greatly.
    And now off to make lunch at the Salvation Army, do some home visits and finish the sermon.

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  9. Good morning or afternoon or evening, all!
    I have two important meetings at church today and am trying to get out the door for the first one. Big gap between them will provide a time to write, although I don't usually write well in my office at church. I have scribbled notes on many pieces of paper and hope that if I type them up I'll find I have something, but I suspect it's a pudding without a theme. Thankfully the title in the bulletin is suitably vague. I also have a baptism liturgy to finalize, and if I were smart, I would write my May newsletter article, since I'll be away from Sunday afternoon to Saturday night this week, and it's due as soon as I return.
    And then after all that, there's laundry and packing...
    All of which is to say, I'll be back!

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  10. "Pudding without a theme" -- That, in itself might make a great sermon title sometime, Martha. That's what I'm thinking, anyway!

    Hi, Margaret! Sounds like a busy day. Hope to see you here later.

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  11. I'm up and drinking coffee...and perhaps being a bit distracted by one of my cats who is playing hockey with a chapstick and being incredibly cute. I have most of the day home, so I'm hoping to finish my sermon early and do a little yard work with maybe even a smattering of hammock time - it's going to be 75 degrees and sunny! I'm looking at John, but this year, I'm not going with doubts. I'm going with the scars. "Super Scar Savior."

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    1. Love the image of the cat playing hockey with a chapstick. Will that make it's way into "Super Scar Savior? Am imagining all the scars hockey playing cats accrue.

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    2. The image of kitties playing hockey with chopsticks just made me very happy.

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  12. I'm not preaching tomorrow, but I have a funeral today. Wish I was totally off as I'm pretty tired (for some reason)but I am presiding while the new part-time interim is preaching. Then we're going away just overnight.

    Right now I need coffee though, whether preaching or not.

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    1. "Tired, for some reason"? As I recall, your world has been a whirlwind lately. I hope your time away, short though it may be, will provide some rest.

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  13. Hi Pals,

    Very busy week last week. All the meetings that I was supposed to have during Holy Week got moved to last week and I had a graveside service on Tuesday and a graveside service today. I am going to go with a sustainable sermon for tomorrow.

    BTW, I have a question for you all, when you do a graveside service, do you do a sermon, homily, eulogy?

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    1. I don't, but then all my graveside services have been immediately after the funeral. In the event that I would have a winter funeral with too much snow on the ground for a funeral, I've been told that the graveside would be after the weather clears in the spring. In that case I would do a very short homily.

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    2. My gravesides have just been gravesides...no preceding memorial service or funeral service at all so I feel I have to do a short homily to give the deceased a proper "homecoming".

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    3. Good morning, G_G!

      Sounds like things are going great for you.

      If it is a graveside only, I usually do a short eulogy of the person and then might say a few words (like, 3 sentences) along with the committal scriptures and prayers. I like to "save" Psalm 23 for the outdoor part, even when there is an indoor memorial service or funeral.

      When the weather is especially challenging -- most recently, a cold deluge -- I try to keep it all even shorter than usual.

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    4. G-G - when I've done just a graveside, I do as you say, but otherwise, I go with Sharon's wisdom (including 'saving' 23 psalm!). I try to include the attendees as much as possible - make it their thing, you know? So, they bring flowers to lay on the casket along with a blessing, or something like that. I remember it was the first time I said "ashes to ashes, dust to dust" that I had one of this inappropriate internal giddy moments and thought "OMG! I'm REALLY a pastor now!"

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    5. Thanks for your feedback. Glad to know I am on the right track.

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  14. It has been a long week even with taking Monday and Friday off. Preaching the John text (just the first part, Thomas is next week). I purposely titled my sermon vague: Practice Resurrection Day 8. I may use that formula from now until Pentecost as I wrote in our April newsletter about the 50 Great Days of Easter.

    Thankfully Walter Brueggemann provided ample material for this week's sermon.

    The cupboard is a bit bare this morning but I do have some pears and English Muffin Bread.

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    1. Waving to Purple! I love your sermon title, especially as a series of titles. Nice!

      Can't go wrong with Walter Brueggemann, pears, or English Muffin Bread. Thanks for bringing them all to the table.

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    2. Walter Brueggemann has a tendency to give you 'ample material'. 8>)

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  15. I have to hurry off to a funeral this morning - not preaching, but leading the liturgy. That on top of being gone for a 3 day conference and I feel a bit flustered

    I do have a sermon from seminary that I've been fiddling with. I've cut out about 2/3's and what's left has potential and it's where I want to go - talking about Thomas getting a bad rap about being a doubter, he needed a sign as we all do, an encounter with the risen Christ and then talking about where we see the risen Christ. I don't know. I'll play with it more after the funeral.

    I've got *bucks breakfast blend and carmel coffee syrup and steel cut oats with cranberries for anyone wanting to break their fast.

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    1. Hi, Ramona! What you are doing with your seminary sermon is similar to what I'm doing with my sustainable sermon. I think there's something there I can use for this congregation in transition.

      Happy to add your delicious caramel-enhanced coffee and cranberry-enhanced oats to the breakfast feast! Yum!

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  16. I'm giving thanks for a good night of sleep after a long week. I've been envying the 3 days Jesus spent in the tomb, which isn't a good sign. I'm hoping to finish writing the sermon before my daughter gets home from dance class...

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  17. churchgrrl, that is a sure sign that rest is needed. My own "not a good sign" is when I visit hospitalized people and find myself longing to be in a hospital bed. Not good . . .

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  18. good morning. Gee Sharon - your conference has their annual meeting THIS weekend? that seems like sort of bad timing.

    Preaching on Jonah - a little off lectionary 2 part series thingy I'm doing. (in May, doing another one on Ruth. The Lectionary is not really doing it for me this season for some reason). THEN I have a preaching conference and then week off! So next week will be the flurry of getting-ready-to-go stuff, but if I can do that, I can do anything, right?

    Just remembered there's no one to teach the adult ed class to morrow and I said I would do that. heavens, that wasn't my best idea ever.

    Feeling totally overwhelmed at the moment, but cleaned out my closet yesterday which helped. It was nice to put all my winter stuff in the back! Now, all my spring sweaters are in neat little stacks, so I feel somehow better. What helps you when you are feeling overwhelmed?

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    1. I felt the same way about the lectionary passages, Juniper. I ended up re-arranging some and adding some...lots of ministry in the coming weeks as well as continuing ed and vacation.

      Finally, yesterday I had time to begin to clean my house...I see a trip to Goodwill in the making.

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    2. I always dislike the Easter season lectionary because there's no OT reading. (except for the Psalm, of course)

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    3. Hi, Juniper! I can relate to the salvation made visible in clean closets. Cleaning out something does help me when I'm feeling overwhelmed.

      To make the timing of the Conference meeting worse, we delayed Holy Humor Sunday until next week (as have other churches) because we thought that both pastors would be at the meeting (only the Asst. is there), and some people don't get that it's not yet another change of tradition instituted by the Interim Pastor (yours truly). (sigh)

      What makes it extra-hard not to be there is that it is the 50th anniversary celebration of the Conference, and it's a big deal that I helped to work on (my part was small, but still . . . )

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  19. Morning all, Not preaching tomorrow as my "scheduled" day rolls later in the month, but have been thinking ahead to that and am going to the library later to scout a good children's book related to John's Good Shepherd reading for two weeks hence. That will be my last Sunday with this congregation as we move yet again...so packing at home is today's agenda item as well. Prayers and blessings to all as you write, prepare and do all that is before you today.

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    1. Prayers and blessings you as well.

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    2. Prayers for you as you step into new life in a new place; even if exciting and desired, those leavings and startings are hard.

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    3. Prayers and hugs, Kate! How exciting, and very big!

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    4. Blessings, Kate, as you move on to whatever comes next.

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  20. I got up early to get J off to the women's retreat and went back to bed. I have been trying to write this sermon (for her parish not mine)since yesterday and nothing has come. I am still trying to decide on "We have seen the Lord" and "walking as a child of the light" from the Epistle. I may use a bit of both.

    And I just broke the lid to the crock pot! Why in the hell do they make those tops glass?

    At G-G, I do a short homily usually extempore for gravesides unless it is a family I know well and they don't do a regular funeral.

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    1. Take a look online...it won't help you today, but you might be able to find a replacement lid so you don't have to buy a whole new crockpot. Mine is plastic, and I agree that makes way more sense!

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    2. Oh, yuck! There is no reason for the lids to be glass.

      I hope all you Texas folk are doing OK with the (supposedly dangerous) approaching storms. Take care!

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  21. First meeting is over, a great conversation, but I'm having trouble regathering myself to look at the sermon. This Sunday is Low in more ways than one!

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    1. I feel like we should have a cheer for these times:

      Regather! Regather!
      Sermonate! Sermonate! Sermonate!

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  22. I was up and out early this morning to attend a breakfast honoring the graduating class of international military leaders from the National Defense held at the local mosque...members of my church attended as did some 200 people from other local churches, synagogues, mosques. It was fascinating, and a fabulous interfaith, international event. The meal was a traditional Muslim breakfast: fava and red beans (a dish whose name I can't recall) in a lemony sauce, plain egg omlet, plain yogurt, a platter of fresh veggies (radish, green onion, tomato, mint), a platter of cheeses, pita bread, tea.

    Now I'm home, still feeling waves of fatigue as I continue to recoup from Holy Week and Easter. Clearly a sign of how old I am becoming and how out of shape I have allowed myself to be - that it is taking me a week to recover. alas, so it is.

    My sermon this week will be a teaching sermon on season of Easter - what's missing from our services (confession and reading from the First Testament) - with an emphasis on the Book of Acts. I'm thinking of entering into the sermon by talking about the television program "SMASH" - this is the first television series I have watched from the pilot episode on, and how fascinating it is to watch the plot develop and the characters grow. I'll suggest that the Book of Acts is similar in that it a record of what the early church may have been like, and in it we see a church grow and characters grow....

    anyway, that's where my thoughts are headed, now to see if it works on paper.

    I have coffee. LOTS of coffee...

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    1. wow, terri, that breakfast is mouthwatering!

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    2. What a terrific characterization of the Book of Acts! Thanks.

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    3. Your congregation will learn a lot about tradition and the season of Easter, Terri, as well as what church growth meant in the earliest church.

      I want to be more aware of current culture tie-ins with faith and scripture. Thanks for that!

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  23. Just finished (I think), although edits may be on tap this evening. I'm using the Gospel of John lectionary text - ignoring Thomas entirely, focusing on the "As the Father has sent me, so I send you." Attempting to incorporate a video and some light-heartedness about our mainline fear of evangelism. We'll see how it flies.

    Breakfast pastries left and good thoughts to those who are still writing...powerpoint for service prayers and hymn lyrics next.

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  25. Still have some blueberry pancakes left for those who want them. Having a hard time focussing, though I now have a list of things to do, and a children's time involving trying to hide somewhere in the sanctuary where God is not.

    Hiding from God reminds me of a funny from my son's toddlerhood. He was having a problem with monsters, so I tried to reassure him each night by praying and telling him Jesus would watch over him while he slept. Then one morning he woke us up at o'dark thirty, "Mommy, mommy, there's a monster under my bed and Jesus is in the closet!!" He didn't know which was scarier. It was sort of a parenting fail...

    Ok, easily distracted but really gotta go do a few things now.

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  26. Done. I have written a VERY catholic sermon for a VERY uncatholic parish. But I feel good that this is an important thing to speak on. I have preached on the cultural difficulties of uniting our sufferings with Jesus.
    here

    Now to clean up and see if I can do something with the crockpot!

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  27. "Even at the grave we make our song. Alleluia. Alleluia. Alleluia." How I love the Episcopal Burial Service. It writes the homilies for you. Off to preach it now.

    Chow down on those blueberry pancakes.

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    1. I think I am never more grateful for the Book of Common Prayer than when officiating at a funeral.

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  28. Good afternoon, preachers.

    It's been a crazy busy week as I've tried to catch up on some of the things I'd gotten behind on in the run up to Holy Week. And I'm tired, despite taking an extra day off. I'm taking a few more days off this coming week to go visit my kids and take care of my grandson while my daughter travels for work. Really looking forward to it, though restful it won't be!

    Meanwhile, I'm drawn to the reading from Acts, and thinking in lines similar to Terri in some ways. I don't give my sermons titles, but if I did, I might use "What happens after Easter?" this week. We have the tendency to think we're "done" now, but Easter is just the beginning.

    I'm wondering how 'low" Low Sunday will be. It's the end of the public school's spring break. And Easter attendance wasn't even all that great. So we'll see.

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    1. I think my favorite Easter season preaching-wise was the year I followed the Acts stories the whole season. I think two years ago.

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  29. Been a busy week, but not church-wise. My sister is visiting from Zimbabwe so I've been keeping a low church profile. We are having Holy Humour Sunday tomorrow and the church looks great. Full of balloons and smiley faces! I have even made myself a floral stole to wear. My former rector is preaching and he is full of fun, so it should be good! Bit anxious though as he did train me so I want to do well. Only trouble is I am aching from head to toe so I hope I'm not coming down with flu. Can't be feeling miserable when I've got to lead all the laughs.

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    1. Shoot. I totally forgot about all the balloons I was going to get. How did I forget that? Well, when the baby gets up I'll head to the store and start taking care of that.

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  30. I'm so glad to read that others are struggling with focus this week, too! I have finished a draft (I mean sermon not beer).

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  31. Hey all!
    A fully schedule morning and early afternoon are behind me and I'm grateful another family member is going to take The Boy to a birthday party. Typically I preach 'the Sunday after' and this week has been a struggle to... well.... care. :)

    But I do now and I'm working on a sermon entitled 'It is NOT Finished', thinking about going with three narratives - one the disciples, one current day person in the pews and one some saint whose done something awesome where once there was no hope.

    I think shower is next and then stepping away from electronic things and handwriting it for awhile.

    Good to 'see' everyone!

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  32. The house is suddenly and unexpectedly mostly empty. A responsible preacher would knock out the short homily that's bouncing around in her head and enjoy a stress-free afternoon and evening.

    No one has ever accused me of being responsible.

    We're doing Holy Humor Sunday so I've got a lot of "open mic" time planned for telling jokes, singing joyful songs, and a couple of a pointed and funny videos. I think it's put together well. My homily title is "The Anatomy of a Joke" with the idea being that like a good joke, the joy of the resurrection is based on a reversal of all expectations. What seems impossible, ridiculous even, foolish according to Paul in 1 Corinthians, has happened.

    Short, sweet, to the point, and back to the jokes. That's the plan.

    Later. After I enjoy this quiet house.

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    1. *Irresponsibility* is the new *Responsible*! (Will that work?)

      SheRev, I may borrow your super sermon idea when we do Holy Humor Sunday next Sunday.

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  33. ooooh, SheRev, I understand completely. The quiet house is a gift not to be taken for granted. Kudos to whoever made it happen for you.

    I am at my husband's very quiet office, while he is home with the girls, earning kudos. I am way more productive here in 2 hours than in 20 hours at home, so hopefully I can get some things done. I'm mostly finished for tomorrow, but we are having family company, from two different branches, in the next couple of weeks. That will mean a dearth of writing time. So, hoping to get ahead a bit this afternoon.

    I was an associate pastor for six years, then a solo for two, and now a supply preacher. Yep, I've got lots of Doubting Thomas experience. This year, it's called "Peace be with you" and I'm focusing on the other disciples, and how many times Jesus repeats "Peace" in these verses.

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    1. Peace be with you, esperanza! I hope that the office time was productive as you hoped.

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  34. Ack! I am SO-O-O sorry. I agreed to go on a "quick" trip to rent a tux for the high school senior for whom I was a guardian (still his not-with-legal-standing one, really) and I discovered there's no such thing as a quick trip to rent a tux.

    Will catch up and get back on the dance floor, friends!

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  35. Just came back from riding with my son, who had his first driving lesson this morning and of course could not wait to go out with me to practice. Not quite as hard on me as it is on him, but I am mentally drained nonetheless!

    I am doing a sort of Believe It or Not theme for the family service sermon tomorrow; I really do need to think about it. I totally agree with whoever posted above that first she needs to get herself to care; I forget every year how worn outI am post-Holy Week and Easter.

    I have some homemade turkey soup on the stove if anyone would like a simple dinner :-)

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    1. Betsy, you just reminded me of that classic country song, "Here's a Quarter; Call Someone Who Cares."

      Soup sounds perfect -- thanks!

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  36. some really interesting days you all are having.
    I am doing a Q&A session called, "A Pastoral Conversation" I hope to pull out the stool and sit before them and having collected their "Thomas=style" questions, proceed to...not answer them. BUt trust that together, with the Spirit's action in community we will try to answer questions for each other and for all of us.

    So my prep has taken me back to original language and feasting on the word. I've finished the 1st John, now to run thru thomas again and write the major part of the prayer. Glad to have company, anyoone still have some coffee hot? I think I could use some and if it's virtual, it won't keep me up, right?

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    1. I love what you are doing . . . not answering . . . nice!

      Have another cup! Virtual coffee is always just stimulating enough, and I just tried some of the Fair Trade chocolate with sea salt -- yum! And -- virtually speaking -- no calories.

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  37. Hey Nancy, I'm making some tea - andhave some Fair Trade chocolate with sea salt...youm! I'll send some your way. About to review my sermon draft and make some of the changes that have come to me since I left it to percolate...

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  38. Replies
    1. Now I so want to watch Smash. Yet another TV show to keep up with.

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  39. Stephanie, I really like your idea of preaching Acts through Eastertide; I may just do that.

    I have a draft on Acts. I love to compare the Stone Soup story to the way the apostles pooled their resources--did it once before and I'm using it again although the rest of the sermon is a bit different. Going to let it sit for a bit now before editing.

    Chocolate with sea salt sounds divine!

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    1. I think you'll love it, if you decide to go with Acts. The idea, for me anyway, was tha this was the group formed most immediately by the resurrection

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    2. How did they live differently from envy one else because of it
      .

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  40. Terri, I love your sermon. And you also make me want to watch SMASH.

    And I meant to say the other day how much I LOVE the picture in your header. Very special!

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  41. I posted Practice Resurrection: Day 8

    I drew heavily from Brueggemann...it was just one of those weeks...in so many ways.

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    1. I love the part about "passing the peace" and how that relates (or doesn't, in practice) to the peace that Jesus declared.

      You make me want to practice Resurrection -- really!

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    2. I love the concept of Practicing Resurrection. Purple, did you read Robin's sermon from last week? It might enable you to get another sermon out of the same idea...

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    3. Terri, I did. It was an excellent sermon. I think the "Practice Resurrection" will be a theme until Pentecost.

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  42. My sustainable sermon isn't even sustaining my interest.

    Oh. no.

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    1. That's my most frequent challenge with sustainable sermons--I'm already bored with them when I start.

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    2. That is when I have to new it up a little. I added a pinch of Acts to my sustainable sermon.

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    3. esperanza, you are right on with that. There was something that did intrigue me, though, so I'm going to pull that out and see if it sprouts anything new.

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    4. Sharon, that is how I almost always feel about my sermons...I can usually reuse the illustrations but often the context is too contextual to be reused

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  43. 83 comments....I think we may break 100 tonight.

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  44. Any RevGals storm watching tonight?

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    1. Just got through a pretty wicked storm here. Not nearly what it is to the south and east of me...but it's pretty hard to sermonize when you have a thunderstorm capable of producing tornadoes ripping through town.

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  45. Okay, I have something (with the lamest.title.evah.): Life in His Name. It's okay-ish.
    Terri, I am a Smash fan, too, will have to read your sermon.

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    1. Mine might be worse: "See the Light of God Revealed." I"m pretty sure that it was a hymn lyric (new words to an old hymn?) and part of a series from the past. Another pitfall of plucking out something from the past, as if there weren't enough of those already.

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  46. Trying to write sermon after getting back from vacation late last night. All I want is to either go back to Sonoma County and drink more wine or stay here and take a nap. Alas.

    Main struggle - how to make resurrection life practical. That is, how to translate it from some lovely theological ideal to an at least somewhat attainable reality.

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    1. Amen to that question in the struggle: how to make resurrection life practical. I think you are on to what the original struggle was, too.

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  47. Amy, that's where I am. Taking a break now to rotate The Boy into bed.

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  48. I'm just getting back to the party after this morning's funeral, a phone conference with my tax guy (first year not doing them myself, since it's first year doing clergy taxes) and then a trip to town to purchase a new bed for the 16 yo. I can tell I sorely need the post-Easter vacation - I'm so not motivated, I hate my sermon, and I don't want to work on it any more but I have to wrangle it into preaching form.

    I'm gonna go read the sermons posted and hope to glean inspiration off them!

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    1. Ramona, I can't speak for others, but I have had the same guy do my taxes for the 25 years I have been ordained, and it has been worth every penny in peace of mind and plenty of deductions that I know are legit, plus ones I would've never known about (some of which are not clergy related).

      As for the sermon..if only we could go hire professionals to do that for us too. Oh, wait: we are the professionals (or so they say!).

      Delete
    2. We are the professionals? Now I'm scared....

      It's a good thing the Holy Spirit has our backs!

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  49. Good one, Betsy! And we are the ones with the "direct pipeline" to God (or so they say!).

    Kathryn, you are funny, too. "Rotate the boy" indeed!

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    1. Betsy, I too have used the same accountant for 25 years...well worth every penny...and, uhm, LOL "Professionals"...

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  50. survived worship, baptism came with squealing child - we have a table out the front with books and puzzles and colouring in, I tell the congregation at the beginning of worship children are welcome. today I had very little voice, and one girl , maybe 2 years old, squealed - and her parents did nothing! Not from the baptism family, but a relative.
    The 6 months old girl being baptised is beautiful, placid, and took notice of all that was going on.

    The wonderful congregation I minster with rose to the occasion, one read a book I had for the children's talk, another lead some of the prayers, and one offered a children's activity in the hall, which some children and a parent went out to. Usually there would have been Sunday School, but not in school holidays.

    the next 2 Sundays I am not leading worship or preaching. hopefully my voice recovers by then.
    I need to ring a family whose mother [93 yrs. old] died this morning, then a church picnic - maybe a nap in the car on the way :)

    Blessings for those still trying to get words onto paper.

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    Replies
    1. Healing prayers for your voice, pearl, and praise God for your congregation!

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  51. OK, so I cut out a lot of the sermon -- all of which was incredibly brilliant, yet will not be missed in the least. How does that work?

    Then I added some "we" parts. I'm now calling it "relevant" and that's good, right?

    Thinking about posting it, because I haven't blogged since January. Blessed are those who do not see (blog posts by me) and yet still believe (that I am still a qualified RevGal).

    I typed that "quali-FIRED" the first time, so I'm going to post the sermon to re-constitute the blog.

    Why does that remind me of Fizzies? (Remember them?)

    OK . . . See The Light of God Revealed is up!

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    Replies
    1. Sharon, I just sent a box of Fizzies to my sister in Australia; she is going through chemo and I figured a blast from the past would put a smile on her face, even if her stomach isn't up to them just yet. Root beer...my favorite flavor :-) Funny you should mention them; prior to getting them for her, I hadn't thought about them for many years.

      Delete
  52. I think I have something preachable. At least I have a sermon I like better than before, so that's something.

    I'm going to walk away from the sermon now. Really, I'm not going to monkey with it any more. Really. Walking away now...

    Well, maybe I'll come back later and tinker a bit.

    Right now, I have to see the exploits of the honey badger - a youtube thing my son has been waiting since the beginning of Holy Week to show me.

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    Replies
    1. walk away, ramona...and let it be. And, I hope you get some rest this week. I can't believe how long it is taking me to recover from Holy Week and Easter...goodness. I can't believe it's Sunday again, already (well almost)

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  53. Hi everyone - went away for a delicious nap, and then a drive across town to find my lost bathing suit at the pool, then a drive across town the other way to have a hosp visit, then home for dinner with friends and a call that another another guy is in the same across-town hosp. So I will be going back there tomorrow after church.

    The good thing about all that car time was lots of time to verbally "write" my sermon - yes, I was the crazy lady talking to herself in the car next to you today :) so I have one more little piece to do then then I think I"m done. All of this conversation about Low and Holy Humor Sunday helped me remember to take it easy on myself (and the congregation!) tomorrow with a lighter sermon than usual so thanks so much for that!

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  54. Car sermonizing is good, Juniper.

    Ramona, sounds like you have arrived at your destination. Yea!

    As for me, that 8:00 a.m. worship service comes all too quickly, so I am heading off to bed. What that typically looks like is that I toss and turn a lot while I worry that I will oversleep even with 2 alarms set. It's never happened to me yet, but, you know, what if it did? Tomorrow, there is no back-up pastor, either!

    Thanks for lots of fun, inspiration and encouragement!

    Peace be with you all.

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  55. OK. I have knit enough and watched enough snarky documentaries that it is finally time to start this sermon. It will be very short and will probably look a lot like the newsletter article I wrote a couple of weeks ago about the idea of Holy Humor Sunday. I want to focus on the humor and joy of the service not my not so funny explanation of it. No better way to kill a joke than to analyze it which I hope will be my semi-ironic point to a sermon entitled "The Anatomy of a Joke."

    Time to write. Now. Really. I'm going.

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  56. Having served as an associate pastor for 3 years (in my first call), I am right at home in the pulpit on Low Sunday. This was the week that the sr pastor always took off, because he was tired. Oddly enough he did nothing with the Egg Hunt and did not do anything on the prep end of the Seder Meal. So, I got to preach on this time. I know Thomas pretty well and kind of like him. Not in a crush sort of way, but just in the way that I can totally can relate.
    Thomas is cool

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  57. Having served as an associate pastor for 3 years (in my first call), I am right at home in the pulpit on Low Sunday. This was the week that the sr pastor always took off, because he was tired. Oddly enough he did nothing with the Egg Hunt and did not do anything on the prep end of the Seder Meal. So, I got to preach on this time. I know Thomas pretty well and kind of like him. Not in a crush sort of way, but just in the way that I can totally can relate.
    Thomas is cool

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  58. This sermon is terrible.
    And I don't care.
    Holy Spirit, if you do then by all means intercede on the Trinity's behalf. I'll be in bed.
    Amen.

    (Peace sistahs.)

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  59. OK. This sermon that has been writing itself in my head all week suddenly isn't. I'm buckling under the pressure to be funny on Holy Humor Sunday even though I've got some jokes lined up to tell other places. This is stupid. It doesn't NEED to be funny. It needs to preach the holy hilarity of the gospel. I need to get back to that plan and let the pressure to crack people up go!

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  60. She Rev, are you still up? I preached on some of this for Easter Sunday at our family service, and I have it up on our church blog if reading it might be hellpful to you. Let me know!

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  61. Thanks so much, Betsy. I found my groove. I found my way in that's a little funny with one of my favorite Bill Engvall jokes - - "God don't think stuff's funny!" Whew. I'm about half done and the second half is the easy part - - the gospel as a reversal of expectations, the punchline of the sory that brings all the joy! Night night! More typing in the morning, but for now this is done.

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  62. Ugh. I am still up and struggling to get something out of my mind and onto the page (like a few others here). I did take some vacation this week, but wasn't able to take a Sunday off due to other commitments later in the year.

    I do love to preach on Thomas, and I don't usually because I have only been a solo pastor and try to take this Sunday off whenever possible. But the words are just NOT coming. The motivation is NOT there. But if you all can do it, I suppose I can too.

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  63. Glad you found your words, She Rev; sleep well.

    Semfem, I hope something starts tp perk for you, too.

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  64. Well, that was a long night, but I did finally (just now) emerge with a sermon. It's not great, but it will have to do.

    Hoping everyone else finished up and the morning goes smoothly.

    Blessings on all pondering, preaching, and proclamation.

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  65. Turns out the joke is on me, and I wasn't even doing Holy Humor Sunday: I wrote a sermon tied to the baptism, but I just learned
    the mother of the baby is ill, so we have to postpone. Now what?
    I'm looking at the sermon to see what I can use without references to the baby, but also considering pulling something about Emmaus out of the file and preaching that instead.

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    Replies
    1. Ack! If the baptism will be rescheduled soon, I think I would save the sermon written for it and punt today. But then, I love Emmaus, so as soon as you said that I was all in!

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  66. Oh dear, such a quick shift to make. Hope the mom is not seriously ill.

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  67. Low Sunday indeed. Draggy music, scatterbrained sermon (and I was the one preaching it!) and noisy people misbehaving in the pews (and those were just the grownups). Vacation?? Where are you??

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