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Saturday, June 02, 2012

11th Hour Preacher Party: Woe is Me Edition

Marc Chagall, 
What's up for you today, Preachers?

  • Are you visiting Jesus? 
  • In the temple with Isaiah?
  • Are you taking on the complexities of the Trinity? 
  • Grateful that the Children's program falls on this Sunday?
  • Will you go off-Lectionary?

Whether we need a wake-up call, or are being called to give one, we're here for each other. I'll bring donuts! And fine iced coffee. Your cyber-offerings are welcome. Join us in the comments and let us know how the writing is going.

109 comments:

  1. More like "D'oh! is me." I fell asleep last night and forgot to pre-post the Preacher Party! Please forgive me, especially Gals and Pals overseas. My son is home briefly between college and summer commitments, and I stayed up late making sure he had everything together for a flight this morning.
    It's Children's Sunday where I am, and we're suffering the little children to come to Jesus. My remaining responsibility is to write a Communion liturgy that includes the kids in a meaningful way but can be cut short in case their "message" goes long.
    I'm also working on a sermon for another event.
    So I will be here with you, seraphim and all. Again, my apologies for getting off-schedule. Pearl, if you read this, sleep well tonight!

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  2. Handbell practice, baseball game, piano recital and teasing my girlfriend for forgetting to post (proving it happens even to the best of us) are all on my agenda. Oh... also worship stuff. Children's Sabbath tomorrow means no sermon, but a lot of other detaily nit-picky stuff that I so, so love.

    Hope the sermon spirit is a-hoppin' for all this morning.

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    1. Big smile here at you two:) I did look early this morning but then went off to have fun - back to write now - gone 8pm here. x

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  3. Thanks Martha, about half way through a short sermon for Trinity Sunday.
    reading Isaiah near the beginning of worship, speaking about it briefly, then prayer of confession. also picked up a great 'reading' on Trinity from Spill the Beans which someone linked to on Tuesday, so am thinking a short sermon will do, as it is also communion Sunday here.
    hopefully I will soon be finished and put something on my blog.

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    1. Sounds like a great approach. I hope it comes together easily!

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  4. Up early here in Central Time Zone. I'm preaching Isaiah from a sustainable sermon that needs some fleshing out - I remember it being weak in spots and short. I'm focusing on Isaiah's (and our expectations for worship)- meaningful encounter w/ God, seeing our own brokeness, forgiveness, being called, being sent.

    Children's time will be a little bit of cultural education as I introduce them to Horschack - Oh, oh, oh - and talk about eagerness to serve God - even when the call is for something like cleaning church toilets...

    Hoping to spend an hour or so on it and then move onto the many preparations I need to make for multiple back to back commitments this week. Basically by 3 p.m. today I need to have clothes ready for Annual Conference, quick get away w/ hubby, and my niece's wedding - so through June 10. Very little at home time after 3 today - basically only to sleep. Good news is Wed - Friday will be down time - if we can get ourselves organized and out the door.

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    1. May you enjoy the down time! I'm looking ahead to some later in the week myself. It's worth the push it takes to get there.

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  5. Good morning, preachers! Hanging out with Nicodemus this week, trying to convey how important it is to ask questions and that conversion can be a lifelong movement (in a congregation in which "I got saved at 7:00 on July 6, 1982" is a not uncommon type of statement).

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    1. Oh, Robin. I think sometimes people give us those testimonies to establish their bona fides. It may come as a blessed relief to hear it explained differently.

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  6. The end of the day is closing in here in Beijing. I'm taking inspiration from an essay by Ruth Duck and looking at the language we use for the Trinity/God and what it reveals and conceals about God's character. This congregation doesn't get too anxious about expansive language for God but it seems like a good Sunday to explore that and will hopefully resource some of the pastoral conversations that are happening with people who need to find language for God that isn't traumatising or alienating.

    It is cherry and lychee season here - help yourself to the fruit bowl. I'm afraid most of the strawberries were eaten earlier in the day!

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    1. Welcome, Jemma! That sounds delicious.
      And what an important conversation to be having.

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    2. Looking forward to your sermon. I loved the article by Ruth Duck. It will be interesting to see how you use it.

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  7. lots of early risers this week.
    sermon is finished, printer is going, and I may get an earlier night than many Saturday evenings. we were farewelling someone tomorrow, but they are in mid-move and now can't make it, so they will come and visit in a few weeks, so that was one less thing to fit into the service tomorrow.
    After worship a meeting, then get ready to go to retreat Monday to Thursday with other Uniting Church Ministers from this area. Here it is early winter, and the retreat centre is cooler than where we live. We always seem to get a cold wet week, maybe more conducive to retreat, and according to the forecast we have done it again, with the sun due to shine the day after we return home. Then I have a weekend off 

    Here is the link to Trinity???

    may you all have a great, if busy, Saturday

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    1. The nature of an international congregation is such that we have a farewell slot every week - though there is not always someone to farewell. As schools finish and contracts end we will farewell about 30% of the congregation in the next month. And then wait for August/September to see who arrives!!

      Hoep you get peaceful rest and have a great Sunday

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    2. The retreat sounds great. I have to run to a church event but will look at your sermon later, pearl.

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  8. I'm off to have a tire looked at, which means saying goodbye to my son before he leaves--annoying!--but the slow leak is not so slow and needs attention. I'll check in by phone. Hopefully it won't take too long.

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  9. I'm up early for me and headin out to run my first 10K on the 10th anniversary of my ordination. I didn't plan it that way, but I think it's kind of cool. A "I just can't quite fall to sleep" night on Thursday turned into the Spirit giving me my sermon. Half of it is typed up; the other half is hand written in my journal. At some point I need to type up the handwritten part and make sure it all still makes sense, but for the most part I am miraculously done. UNHEARD OF!!! Going with Isaiah. Spending a good bit of time looking at why that vision at that time by telling Uzziah's story. I'll post later. I gotta run. Literally.

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    1. Run well! Hope it makes for a good celebration of the anniversary.

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    2. Thanks! I finished exactly when I wanted to. I call that success.

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  10. Guess it's a morning for early risers! What a week. I'm reworking a sermon preached in a totally different community--one that was angry, divisive, toxic really. I've reworked the sermon for a healthy community that is growing, developing new ways of being with one another, really delighting in each other. It's interesting to see the difference context makes in me and in the way I see the Trinity. Here it is

    Now off to the second day of Anti-Racism. This training, led by Lelanda Lee of the Diocese of Colorado, is really good. Now I just have to figure out where to get lunch for 15 people. Could use some of those cherries and lychees!!

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  11. Good morning, y'all! I'm preaching John and thought I knew what I was doing earlier in the week. Now? Not so much. The Spirit blows where it will, right? We'll see....

    Happy to party with y'all today!

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    1. Indeed, the Spirit does, earthchick. I hope an idea blows in soon!

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  12. morning friends!
    we're beginning our summer series tomorrow, so I'm preaching on Transformation. how's that for a broad topic? hopefully this sermon will address 4 people's questions, including questions about the whole business of whether a bad tree can produce good fruit, what the life transformed by God's grace looks like, and what the role of religion is in our life journey. All in 12 minutes. right.

    I have a memorial service this afternoon, off-site, that's slated to last 3 hours, and I haven't finished my homily (not three hours, more like three minutes) yet either. We'll see how that all goes. Especially since I've been up for an hour and I already wish I was taking a nap.

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    1. 12 minutes. All I have is the theme to Transformers in my head now. :-)

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  13. Good morning, all. As an occasional preacher, I usually find my way to this site for reflection and inspiration. My thanks to each of you who have made this a regular part of your world, and for the sense of community that is evident. It is amazing that the technology that allows some to withdraw from the real world and live in a virtual reality, also provides for authentic community for those who are open to the possibility. So I bow to honor you, Namaste.
    For my Trinity Sunday sermon, I will be using Isaiah and John. Playfully, taking the notion of so many things that come in three's (three blind mice, three bears, arranging plants in threes, disasters that come in threes) my suggestion is that we like to capture things in a way that gives us some control. Nicodemus approached Jesus as rabbi to rabbi, anticipating a rabbinic dialogue. what he received was disorienting and confusing. The concept of Trinity can be used as a container for our idea of God, or it can be a springboard for experiencing God with wonder and awe. My final "three" may be the three jewels of Buddhism, essentially, Teaching (receiving Jesus' teachings), Living (practice of life based in Jesus' teachings about love), and Community (giving and receiving in the community of others who are seeking to embrace Teaching and Living).

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    1. Jess, welcome! Thank you for your kind words. Your idea sounds both deep and playful, which is a great approach to such a mysterious concept.

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    2. But was Naqdimon (Nicodemus) really disoriented? Or were the disciples just confused? Were the rabbis team teaching?

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  14. My good news is a $39 tire repair instead of a new tire. Hallelujah!
    Now I'm off, somewhat late, to book group, after picking up my dog at home. I stopped at the donut place, so you have your pick of Dark Chocolate Vanilla Glazed, Fresh Lemon, Glazed Potato or Mocha Glazed (both plain and dark chocolate). Dig in! I'll be back around lunchtime. Well, my lunchtime.

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  15. Up and getting ready for our weekly trip to the city for puppy school. And some assorted shopping. It was supposed to be my day off, but I still haven't recovered from last weekend's craziness, so my sermon is not done. So I am working. On top of not getting the day off, I wasn't able to take the Memorial Day holiday my call paperwork says I can take. So I'm down 2 days off in a week I really, really needed them!

    I want to preach on the relational nature of God. I have this whole series planned out to tie that into how the gospel readings this summer show us how God relates to us/who God is. Something like that. Anyway...I'm just not feeling it. I can't find my 'in' through the texts. I feel drawn to the Nicodemus story, and the most famous verse. The challenge from the Working preacher podcast, and David Lose's "Dear working preacher" is to let the texts describe Trinity without actually teaching doctrine. And that's what I've been wrestling with this week and not getting anywhere.

    Did anyone read Dr. Susan Elliot's sermon on textweek? I'm intrigued by her assertion that Jesus' first reply to Nicodemus affirmed that ole Nic was on the right track, but Nic misunderstood what Jesus was saying and missed the affirmation. I haven't seen that take before and wonder if it is a valid interpretation.

    Relational, misunderstandings, that's what I'm pondering this morning. And praying desperately that the 3rd Person of the Trinity come and blow the cobwebs out of and a sermon into my brain!

    Maybe pearl's and Revalli's sermons will provide some inspiration!

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    1. ramona, that kind of week brought about my love of the concept of Comp Days. And I'm grateful to have an Admin who *makes* me schedule them. And take them.

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    2. Amen to comp days! Take them....you deserve them.

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  16. Just getting started here - rector and admin asst gone for last two weeks so the busy work has been getting the bulk of my attention. I'm sure I've dropped the ball on something along the way, but I have managed to take my days off.
    I'm off to write - thanks for the lemon doughnut! Yum!

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    1. You're welcome! Did I mention the Dark Chocolate Sea Salt? Incredible.

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    2. Martha - I confess I am filled with envy about your Holy Donut bakery!Dark Chocolate sea salt.... with good coffee- sounds divine!

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  17. I am bringing Isaiah's vision to life with the help of Harry Potter. We will talk about the way he names (and numbers) God as a way to talk about the ways Jesus names (and numbers) God and the ways we name (and number) God with the help of the Seven from the Game of Thrones. And I mention the Trinity as an option for our naming and numbering,

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    1. Gotta love the Seven. Have you watched Battlestar Galactica?

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  18. I am now annoyed that I didn't use the Isaiah text to talk about transformation. sigh. I do have Nicodemus, and the whole bad-tree-good-fruit thing from Matthew 7, and 2 Corinthians 3 where we're being slowly transformed into the image of God's glory or something, and Romans 12 for a picture of what the transformed life looks like. but sigh, so much possibility in the Isaiah text. alas. We are singing Holy Holy Holy though, so that will have to do.
    I have walked the dog (a literal one, not the metaphorical one I'll be walking tomorrow morning), and I have to hop in the shower so my hair will be at least sort of dry by the memorial service time...then I have to write something for that. Get this: no scripture at said memorial service. I've been asked to be there to support the daughter (who is younger than me...her mother who died is the same age my mother would be...and she died quickly (within days) of cancer previously undiagnosed due to lack of health insurance...talk about flashbacks...), to "say a few words" and to pray. And they are expecting some family drama via the deceased's ex-husband. oh the fun.
    I will likely be back after that, with a cocktail and a pizza, to write away the evening. lol.

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    1. Oh, gosh, Teri. What a tough day. Covering you and the daughter with prayers.

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    2. Oh Teri-God's peace sister. Holding you in prayer

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  19. I have over slept this morning too. I am doing a Methodist service tomorrow and I have never done one before. I am covering for the Vicar of Hogwarts and I only have one reading: the Gospel. J. overslept too and is groggily off to her meeting so I have the house to myself.

    Amy+, don't worry, no one will notice!

    The coffee (decaf) is on and am ready to go.

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    1. Blessings on your journey into Methodism! I spent two Sundays in a Methodist church after Hurricane Katrina.

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  20. Good morning preachers! It is cool and rainy here (too cool for my liking for June) and I'm hoping to have a very productive day. Yesterday I wrote a sermon on Isaiah that I will be preaching at an interview on Monday (and your prayers for that whole process would be MUCH appreciated!) so my task for today is a sermon on John for tomorrow. I'm thinking about Nicodemus--one commentary I read (but I forget which one at the moment) noted that Nic came to Jesus thinking he knew who he was but Jesus turned his understanding upside down. So I'm thinking of how encountered Jesus, getting to know Jesus, can turn our lives upside down. Or something like that...we'll see. Which now that I think about it is similar to where I went with Isaiah ... being in God's presence, marked by God, changes us and enables/empowers us to answer God's call.

    This coming week is going to be insanely busy--quick trip out of town (and necessarily undercover) lots of meetings. And this is the time of year when I really miss being on an academic schedule. Ready for summer in so many ways.

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  21. Just popping in after finishing my race. I can't believe I did, but I did. Looking forward to spending the day withd my family.

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  22. I just brewed some tea for iced tea. Help yourselves to that and the go-withs: lemon, mint, sugar, honey, and/or whatever.

    I'm in anxiety mode due to wanting to be a good leader in the midst of church stuff that will come to a head at a congregational meeting tomorrow. That assumes I can get some idea of what "good leader" might look like!

    I was going to recycle a Nicodemus sermon that I really liked, but now I'm going to go off in a new direction. Is it too much of a stretch to think that Nicodemus might have come to Jesus after a "church meeting" (Pharisee meeting)? Maybe Nicodemus was confused (burned out, used up) and wondering whether the "business of the church" was what just went on in the meeting or was "the presence of God" in what Jesus was up to?

    I'm open to feedback. I think the story is at least calling me to step out in faith even if I don't know where God's presence is in all that is going on.

    Tea-drinking time for me!

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    1. Yes, yes! It's such a gift when the text lines up with a church situation, especially during an interim. Go for it!

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  23. How's it going? Anybody want a pimiento cheese sandwich for lunch?

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    1. OMG, I know it's not lunchtime anymore, but I would LOVE a pimiento cheese sandwich!!

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    2. It's never the wrong time for a pimiento cheese sandwich.

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    3. I didn't have pimento cheese but I did have a slice of toasted whole wheat with mayo, dijon mustard, a slice of cheddar cheese topped with some slices of tomato and sprinkled with pepper. Does that count? Oh and chips and iced tea with a splash of lemonade....

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  24. We have a combine "Unity" service of the three congregations who worship in our building. Which means we worship in 3 languages, Khmer, Spanish and English. We only translate the welcome and offering info and give undesignated gifts to the local foodbank. Each preacher is to speak for 5 minutes. We heard last night that the Cambodian pastor is ill so the scripture will be read but he won't be there to give a message. Pastor Gilberto always goes last as his charismatic style is hard to follow and really needs no translation.
    I prepared a simple message and scheduled it for posting tonight on my regular blog. I put it up here if you want a quick read. It has only one simple point. I'm guessing that people may remember better than my more developed messages. heh

    Glad to see so much again here today. I need to cook a couple simple dishes for the picnic that follows and go to the gym. Sounds like a good day to me!

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    1. That sounds wonderful! I went to a bilingual service a few months ago and found it so meaningful...even when I didn't follow the Spanish. The Spirit has ways of working.

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  25. Hurrah! I have a draft--which may or may not be comprehensible. But it's written, and since I am still sitting here in my jammies, I shall go take a shower and get dressed and move on to some other chores before doing some editing.

    AND after more than 12 hours of steady rain, the sun is making a brief appearance. Hurrah for that too!

    Martha, I think it is a really good thing I don't live near the Holey Donut--dark chocolate sea salt? Swoon.

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  26. Argh...Blogger won't let me reply to comments right this minute but what I was going to say is:

    Martha, pimento cheese is a sign that you are a true Southerner. It is a food that I never liked (in fact, eewww) but it was a staple of my childhood. I will never forget going to a friend's house for lunch (I must have been 7 or 8) and being given a pimento cheese sandwich. Polite child that I was, I had to eat it, but I could only do so with equal amounts of potato chips and sandwich in each bite. Oh the memories!

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    1. Well, I am that, despite 25 years in Maine. In fact, I believe yesterday marked the 25 years exactly. This pimiento cheese came from Trader Joe's, and it's delicious. LP takes it for school lunches. A few years ago we made some at home (before the food processor was broken), and *that* was incredibly good.

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  27. Writing a 10-minute "meditation" on the Trinity since this a Communion Sunday plus recognition day for grads, Sunday School teachers, and two 2nd graders receiving their very own Bibles.

    I'm using Isaiah & John. So far, my one big "ahah" is to open up with a description of how a Facebook profile is created, and how there are so many choices for "relationship status," including one called, "it's complicated." That's my lead-in to a discussion of how we struggle to name God through our varied relationships...at least, I hope that's my lead-in. It's a drowsy, rainy day and the words are drizzling slower than the rain outside.

    I brought along leftover coq-au-vin and home-made biscuits for anyone who'd like 'em... enjoy!

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    1. Interesting link to facebook. I was thinking about facebook relationship statuses as well and wondering if there way a way into a sermon using them. I like your take on it.

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  28. I do like that idea, MaineCelt.

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  29. Well, it's just a little thing, but I'm calling it, "seriosuly, Who Do You Say I AM?" wherein the title is almost longer than the homily. But is is just for the small group of 8 o'clockers. The 1oam service will host the UofM Jazz quartet for a Jazz Mass, and the chaplain is preaching.

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  30. memorial service, check. quick trip to store for dinner (frozen pizza), check. I'm hanging at the dog's house because it's in the same area as the memorial service and it seemed silly to drive home only to come back here in a couple hours to feed/walk...wondering if I can grab a teeny nap and hope inspiration strikes in my sleep? I don't want to be up all night either due to lack of sermon or wacky sleep schedule, but my brain feels a little fuzzy....

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    1. I'm always amazed when people can nap and get up clear-headed; what a gift! How did things go this afternoon?

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    2. well, there was no family drama during the time I was there. so that's a bonus. I did not stay to the end of the reception, so I was there only just over 2 hours. It all seemed to go well enough...though it was one of those services where the person died so suddenly that people were more in shock than anything else. She went to *urgent care* thursday, died sunday night, memorial today.
      I did end up napping, not exactly on purpose but not exactly not on purpose either. Now I've fed the dog and had some pizza...time to write something.

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  31. Good afternoon gals and pals,
    I'm not preaching (I don't, much) but I am struggling. We have a "contemporary" service and I am in charge of the communion liturgy this week. The thing is, the "people" don't like the pastor to use all those "words" that are actually required by our Discipline in the Great Thanksgiving. I was just going to say some sort of "story-prayer" like the other associate does, and like the folks like, but I just can't. It goes against my grain. It is liturgy, which to me is the work of the people, not the pastor's magic show. But I know if I do it the way I feel I should, I will get flack for it, from the folks and maybe from the senior pastor too. I don't know what to do, really I don't. And of course, it is the last minute, and part of the issue is that if I want any liturgy, I should have emailed it to the guy who does the power point days ago. So much guilt and angst, so little time. Should I can it altogether and just do that story prayer thing? or should I stick to my guns, as it were? Argh. Any words of advice will be rewarded richly with just-from-the oven dark chocolate brownies with chocolate chips and coconut, from scratch. Thanks preacher friends!

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    1. Pity about the senior pastor.
      There are a variety of communion liturgies, some with more contemporary words, could you use one of them?. I use a written liturgy, but I have been in worship [during seminary] where the communion leader 'prayed' the communion prayers, and having worshipped there for almost a year, it was much more real when he prayed than when he followed a liturgy - just his style.
      won't help for tomorrow, is there a group you could have a conversation with about what they find unhelpful in the traditional liturgy?

      all the best in your deliberating,

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    2. and thanks for the dark chocolate brownies, I'll keep it for after church [it is Sunday morning here]

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    3. That's a tough one. I live in the world of fewer requirements, and I am afraid I do what your colleagues do, mostly. I usually gather up the themes of the day in an Invitation to the Table, say a brief prayer and then say the Words of Institution. I don't know if that helps.

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    4. Thanks for the helpful comments Pearl and Martha, and enjoy the brownies! I think my issue is that people I respect in my denomination and who have some authority are telling me one thing, while people here "on the ground" are telling me another. I need to get a backbone and do what I believe. The senior pastor said fine and power point guy said no problem, so I am going with liturgy for tomorrow. It is good to hear that it is not the "norm" everywhere, but it is one of the reasons I am staying UMC, even though some of our unchanging policies are abhorrent to me.

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  32. It's been a hectic week with 3 funerals(including one young man), 2 services tomorrow (both communion services) including the ordination of elders (Never done that before!) And I have my parents, brother and his Fiancee staying as I conduct their wedding on Monday. Bridesmaids and Fiancees family arriving tomorrow but fortunately not staying at my house. I think I have workable services for tomorrow but have not started the wedding service - rehearsal is tomorrow evening. It's 10pm here and I am seriously flagging so think I am off to bed and up early to try to look over what I have written and get a start on the wedding.
    I find it so difficult to work with others moving around my house - I live alone and like it that way!
    At least I can look forward to the wedding - and after it not being an (unofficial) wedding planner any more.
    Sorry, trying not to moan - but obviously not acheiving it.

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    1. wow, Tanya! Prayers for you in this huge week! I hope you do get to "let loose" after the wedding, and that you're given a clear head and a bunch of holy spirit mojo in the meanwhile.

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    2. That's a houseful! And we are here for the moaning. :-)

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  33. Just home from a Presbytery meeting, so now I am back to the sermon. We are reading Isa 6 and John 3, but thus far, the sermon seems to be Nicodemus, but more broadly--it seems to be about the way the community of faith gets along or doesn't get along (hence Nicodemus having to come to Jesus by night).
    We'll see.

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  34. Those of you struggling with the Trinity may find some thoughts to assist you her

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    1. that should read, "here"...lol,

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  35. Oh, mercy. John always manages to kick my butt. This sermon keeps slipping away from me. By the time I'm done, I'm quite certain it will have absolutely no relationship to the title printed in the bulletin.

    I would be just fine with that if I could just get the darn thing finished!

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    1. I am so glad I don't have to put sermon titles in the newsletter.

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  36. I left a good writing streak this morning to go to a local beef festival and haven't written another word since. Don't you hate putting down your writing when you're on a roll? At any rate, I'm preaching Trinity this week. Using both Isaiah and John texts, I guess. I am guest preaching at a church where I haven't yet preached, but I'll be there all month. I want to get off on the right foot, and praying for the Holy Spirit to come! So far, I'm stuck at: "It's a mystery!" (and yes, you're paying me to say more than that) On the plus side, I did make a bunch of braided friendship bracelets for the children's sermon. So there's that.

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    1. I say you get lots of extra points for bracelets. :-)

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    2. Beef festival--tell us more. A celebration of beef or an opportunity to beef? I like either festival. I'm celebrating beef tomorrow and beefing tonight. What about the rest of you?

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    3. Alas, just a "celebration of beef." Very Atkins-friendly. Unfortunately, the beef I have now is that this sermon stinks. I've been ruminating on "it's a mystery!" and right now the biggest mystery is how this will preach.

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  37. Stephanie - I know what you mean. I had some great ideas this morning while I was getting dressed, but had no time to write them down since we had leave right away to get to doggie school in time.

    Now I'm back and staring at my notes hoping that they will magically make sense and my writing mojo will come back. I'm starting to wonder if I shouldn't trot out that Trinity sermon I wrote two years ago and rewrite it - it references year C texts and "the Shack" pretty heavily. Is 'the Shack' even still relevant?

    It's much too pretty out to be stuck sermon writing!

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  38. Two sermon edite, PDFed and sent to the iPad-- check.
    Assorted errands done-- check.
    Laundry done-- check.
    Starbux run for skinny latte-- check.

    Okay, I think it's time for dinner!

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  39. Well, it's official. The draft is done and it bears no relationship to the title. Fortunately, the title is broad enough that maybe people will find their own connections (I mean, "Audacious Love" still applies to all of John 3, right? even if what I ended up talking about was being born from above?).

    I'm letting it percolate while I move onto other matters related to church, etc.

    Party on, sisters!

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  40. Hello everyone! I missed last week as I was out of town to be in a wedding (NOT as the officiant for a change)...161 comments, whoa!

    Now I'm trying to write up something super-short on Isaiah for tomorrow. We're doing Confirmation out of our usual rhythm for two students and they are presenting their faith projects...then I'm preaching a tiny mini-sermon and off we go. So I want to talk about my own call story and how my faith was influenced by Isaiah 6. Words on page: ZERO. Sigh.

    Loving some of the things everyone is chatting about and batting about...hoping threads start coming together for everyone soon...including me!

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  41. I officially have half of a really terrible sermon. It's shaping up so poorly that I'm mostly tempted to select-all-delete and begin again, but staring at a blank screen at 830 at night doesn't appeal much either. sigh.

    I do have ice cream, of course...it's ben and jerry's Everything But The... I'm pretty sure the end of that sentence is "sermon." although perhaps I should eat some to test that theory.

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  42. Friends, I'm headed to bed. I hope the night is not too late for the rest of you! I'll be back in the morning with a fresh pot of Fair Trade. Happy writing!

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  43. Finally done with my Trinity meditation...the words finally poured out, but the rain outside picked up too, and now there's talk of a coastal flood watch going into effect. No worries here, as we're miles inland, but wild weather always makes me pause and marvel at the immense creative and destructive forces at work. Reminds me of those seraphim...

    Sweet dreams and good sermon mojo for the writers that remain...

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  44. Finally home after a day I anticipated would be way shorter. sermon printed. That is the best thing I can say about it. This week we host a 3 church vbs . As always, stuff takes more time energy and imagination than my overly optimistic vision. Tomorrow is also a after church potluck, round table on zoning changes (and which will mean tearing up a legacy formal English garden) and various other stuff that could well spark a nasty conflict. Husband is finally home after a week away and he is sick... time for a relaxing beverage and some sleep. May the HS bring sermons to all the Rev night owls!

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  45. At our Presbytery meeting today, we dismissed a congregation to another denomination. And everyone was gracious about it and said nice things. But you know me. I wanted to ask, "so if we're being nice, when are they going to apologize for being mean? For breaking up the body of Christ? For telling one of my church members she wasn't a Christian?"

    My sermon is all about the notion of Trinity as relationship and community, and so the Isaiah "woe is me" is fitting in very well as we lament the breakup of our denominations.

    Any other Presbyterians headed to Louisville for General Assembly leader training tomorrow? That's where I go after worship. Better finish the sermon and go pack!

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    Replies
    1. Marcie. Will be thinking of you as you prepare for GA. I was a vice mod in San Jose 4 years ago. An amazing experience that I am still grateful for. Please pass on greetings to my friend Theresa Cho. Oh yes and rest/take naps when ever you can once you get to GA. The first days are crazy even when you have done this with other duties.

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    2. Thanks. I'm looking forward to it. And excited to hang with Theresa this week too.
      I'll start my napping now to build up a reserve! (Why doesn't that work??)

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    3. You may not be able to build up reserve but starting rested sure beats going in already drained. Have a great time! Praying for all you leader folks

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  46. I haven't made any progress since I chimed in early this morning with a half typed, half hand written sermon - - except for the progress I made by running 6.2 miles before 9:30 a.m. That was good progress. Soon. Soon I will get it all typed. First another shower maybe.

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  47. Mine is preachable and on my Kindle.

    Many blessings be upon each of you!

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  48. Done! Whew! It took a while to settle down and finally start writing, but once I did it came together and didn't try to turn itself into a full-length sermon.

    Hoping things come together soon for all still working.

    Blessings on all pondering, preaching, and proclamation.

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  49. How is God like an Elephant? It sounds like the opening to a joke, but it's my sermon. Posted, and sent to my kindle. Now to condense it into a five minute summary for my nursing home service. And to practice the song I'm doing for special music that seemed like such a good idea 2 weeks ago.

    I don't like that it keeps getting later and later before I have my sermon done. Bed - I'll be there soon!

    Sweet dreams and good preaching!

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  50. oh, sweet jesus...this sermon is interminable. and it clearly tries to do too much. but with the assignment I was given, I don't know that I can do any better. The combination of topic requests was not kind to me, though I'm sure it made sense in HoS's mind when he did it. sigh. At least I think it basically makes sense. kind of. most of the time. maybe. hopefully. whether it will answer the questions I was supposed to answer this week, I doubt. I suspect everyone will end up unhappy that I wasn't able to more fully address their issue, but...maybe I'll be surprised. I can dream.

    or, at least, i can go to bed and hope to dream.

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  51. First offical day at the new church tomorrow. And yes, cannot sleep at all.
    I ahve already preached at the church a few times and was asked to take part in a funeral of a member because they were without a minister at the time
    SO, I already know them pretty well, but tomorrow is the first real day and it is the first Sunday of the month, so I am also teaching Sunday School. Anybody got some wine?
    Thinking tomorrow's PM nap will be well slept.
    I am excited about the new call, but wish I could get to sleep.
    And who came up with Trinity Sunday??? This is gonna be guest preacher sunday next year!

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  52. So, I'm done, and although it's 200-300 words less than my usual, it's pretty much twice as long as I feel like I can be comfortably with everything else happening in the service. Time to cut out the cute story at the beginning and shorten up my history on King Uzziah. Those are the parts disproportionate to the actual meat of the sermon.

    Wow. I have time to edit. And maybe even time to go back to bed!

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