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Saturday, July 21, 2012

11th Hour Preacher Party

This is one long summer in the part of the country I live in. I am yearning, deeply yearning for fall. Or at least a little reprieve from this hot dry weather. Maybe you are too:


There. Maybe this photo will offer us a breather, and a place to meditate as we ponder our sermons for this week.

So, where are your thoughts today? I have been off for two Sunday's (busy, attending the General Convention of the Episcopal Church....) but as I return tomorrow I intend to continue my teaching series on Samuel. I have a lot to catch up on as I follow the story of David, now King David...

What about you? Are you working with Jeremiah? Or Samuel? Ephesians or Mark?

Whichever, we're here to help and support and well, just listen if you need an ear. Pull up a chair I have some excellent coffee and fresh berries.

106 comments:

  1. Sorry I was late posting morning...I have a long check list of things to do since returning...and last night made the mistake of thinking I had checked off all my to-do's without checking my calendar - where my preacher party reminder resides...sigh...

    anyway, we're up now! (heart racing)...what can I get you?

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    1. :) Breathe, breathe. I would love berries, thanks!

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    2. Strawberries, blueberries, raspberries, and blackberries! and they are all delicious...here, have a dish!

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  2. No worries. You beat my back-up comment by about 90 seconds. Glad you're here!!!

    I'm up for my sermon writing much earlier than usual, but then I'm not working on tomorrow yet. I have a memorial service at 11:00 am so I'm writing for that. We have already had the burial for this gentleman about a month ago and a non-preaching, very simple prayer service closer to the event of his death. However, because of family that lives overseas and other details in their lives the full memorial service was delayed about a month. I'm writing that sermon now. (Or really I should be, but I'm not because I'm posting here. Hmmmmm....)

    No formal sermon tomorrow because it's supposed to be outdoor worship. I'm doubting that will take place right now since it is POURING down rain. We'll move it inside and do the same stuff we would have outside, but it won't feel the same. Sad. For that service I'm going to go to the dollar store and get play dough for every person and have them play with it while we do a guided meditation geared toward my understanding of transformation - - the substance of who we are doesn't change, but the way we are shaped for ministry does.

    The other thing I need to do today is pick hymns that will be the basis of the non-sermon sermon next week when I am out of town. I will pick 3 or 4 hymns and the stories that go with them to speak the Word to the church. We did it earlier in the summer, and it was very well received, so it's an easy thing to do when I couldn't find pulpit supply.

    OK Must go write that funeral sermon. I said I'd be done at 8:30 since I need to go let the family into the church at 9:30 a.m. Plan to use the time between then and the service to clean up my HORRIBLE office.

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    1. Oh Stephanie - I hear you! I've had five funerals in a month or so...plus two weddings and two baptisms....on top of all the pastoral care and General Convention...and, thus - the HORRIBLE office...yup.

      anyway - I LOVE the play doh idea - love it! Will need to consider using it myself...I hope

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    2. love the idea for a non-sermon sermon with music. We've done hymn sings (what I call stump the organist), but the last one was not really well received. Adding the stories of a few choice hymns, that could work. And I could program How Great Thou Art for a day when I wasn't there.

      Don't worry about your office. Take care of yourself. Though maybe that means cleaning up the office. Peace.

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    3. Oh, I wish it were pouring here. We've not had anything more than a 1/2 tablespoon of rain for a little over a month.

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  3. One of my favorite prayers for a day like today - filled with trauma and despair and grief....from the Book of Common Prayer:

    This is another day, O Lord. I know not what it will bring forth, but make me ready, Lord, for whatever it may be. If I am to stand up, help me to stand bravely. If I am to sit still, help me to sit quietly. If I am to lie low, help me to do it patiently. And if I am to do nothing, let me do it gallantly. Make these words more than words, and give me the Spirit of Jesus. Amen.

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    1. I found that prayer in the BCP when I was in high school, many decades ago. I memorized it and would say it to myself on the bus every morning. Didn't precisely fit my situation--after all, I was up and going--but it made me feel better to know that God would be helping me do whatever was appropriate.

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  4. I'm on the way out the door to a meeting that requires travel time, too. My phone is notoriously cranky about letting me read or post here even though it should be easy. Anyway, the text for the sermon tomorrow, according to the bulletin, is Ephesians 2. It would be good if the sermon actually matched that.

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    1. Well, Vicar...at least Ephesians as a whole offers a wide berth for talking about the Body of Christ and how we live in relationship with one another - that at least may match your sermon....safe travels and I hope the meeting goes well....

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  5. Good morning, Terri!

    I am postponing sermon writing in favor of loading my car with stuff to take to donation sites. Trying to get my house ready to put up for sale. I am completing this interim ministry at the end of September and I don't know what's next. So, I'm going into full-out action mode on that this morning.

    I'll take another cup of coffee, though! Thanks!

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    1. Oh my Sharon - that is a lot to have on your mind - ending an interim, selling and moving, and not knowing what is next - been there! Prayers for you...

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  6. Here is another prayer for this day, also from the BCP:
    O God, you made us in your own image and redeemed us through Jesus your Son: Look with compassion on the whole human family; take away the arrogance and hatred whichinfect our hearts; break down the walls that separate us; unite us in bonds of love; and work through our struggle and confusion to accomplish your purposes on earth; that, in your good time, all nations and races may serve you in harmony around your heavenly throne; through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen

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  7. and, this one...O God of peace, who hast taught us that in returning andrest we shall be saved, in quietness and confidence shall be our strength: By the might of thy Spirit lift us, we pray thee, to thy presence, where we may be still and know that thou art God; through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.


    Do you have a prayer for this day?

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  8. It's almost 9pm Saturday here (Beijing) and I'm trying to work on my "rest" sermon - acknowledging that rest can be another thing to put on your "to do" list in an overburdened life when you have children and parents and sick family members to care of... But also wanting to speak a word of challenge to those for whom rest is something to fear, something that might undermine productivity and success! It's a tension. I do love Michael Leunig's 'Curly Pyjama Letters' in which he says, "in response to your question "What is worth doing and what is worth having" I would like to say simply this. It is worth doing nothing and having a rest".

    For the children's time I'm going with the picture book 'Jesus' Day Off' by Nicholas Allan.

    Now I need to get finished up so that I can indeed do nothing, and have a rest before the morning comes!

    Thinking of you all going about your busy Saturdays... Hope the words come. Praying particularly for those of you whose communities have experienced trauma in this last week - in Colorado and all the other places of trouble in the world.

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    1. Jemma, this is beautiful....I love this idea and quite agree...

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  9. Mark it is for tomorrow...just verses 30-34...title is so original "Compassion" !!

    Leaving right after worship tomorrow and so today is full of last-minute stuff. Thankfully words came yesterday. I've included a good bit about the shooting at the theater in Colorado. We are "far enough" removed geographically that I've lifted up compassion for all involved.

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    1. I'm leaving right after worship, too. See you there!!!

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    2. Except, actually, I don't think I know who you are. :) Do I and I have just forgotten the screen name-real name relationship? I have never been good at that!

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    3. Purple, will you post your sermon? I too hope to add words of compassion and comfort in light of the tragedy....

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    4. Stephanie, I'm signed up for your class...I'll introduce myself.

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  10. You are all baking hot and I am sitting under a duvet and trying to trap a little sun which is trying, not very successfully, to come through. It's been bucketing down, windy and cold. I had a funeral this morning and am very grateful that it was followed by a private cremation - not the cemetery internment that is prevalent in this parish. I would have been drenched! Next Saturday is a huge funeral and Eucharist with internment so I am praying it won't be raining then.

    I've gone with the rest theme. Started with the story of the Temple Bells, if you know it, and then going on to the idea that rest helps us to be good shepherds and lack thereof takes us onto the Jeremiah route of bad shepherding as we focus on ourselves, not listening to God. I hope it will work.

    My heart is not really in it. My daughter has left for Scotland (via Zimbabwe on a holiday to my sister so I envy her that!) and I don't know when I may see her or her sister again. Perhaps only in 2 years. It's not easy - but how much worse for my dear friend whose son died a month ago in a motorcycle accident. I have to remind myself how lucky I am.

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    1. Pst - prayers for you as you seek warmth and sun and move through these end of life and celebration of life events.

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  11. Preaching the alternate II Samuel text - God telling David through Nathan that he won't be the one to build the temple. Seemed like a good idea a week ago, as we are supposed to be worshiping outside tomorrow. But as we are also launching a campaign to raise the $$$ to repair our windows, and next week are celebrating the 80th anniversary of our building, and a nearby Presbyterian church blew down a couple of weeks ago, it doesn't seem like quite as good an idea as I had first thought. And then there's Colorado. So I'm thinking something about God not being contained by a temple or church or movie theater - which doesn't mean that we don't hope and plan and build, but does mean that the Holy Spirit may be active in ways we don't recognize. I don't know. Any ideas?

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    1. Robin, as it turns out I am going in a similar direction - God cannot be contained...and 2 Samuel too...I do think you build off that idea of God present in the ongoing action of the Holy Spirit drawing us forth even, or especially in and through tragedy..........

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    2. I'm going with 2 Samuel also. I keep hearing God saying to Nathan "When did I ever ask for a temple?" and thinking how we make decisions about what God wants based on what makes us happy ... but I'm kind of torn between that and God's compassionate love for David even though David was far from perfect. Since my heart is being torn in both directions I'm thinking I should try to bring those things together but not entirely sure how. I think I must need chocolate.

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  12. Greetings all! I'm going with Ephesians. I've been captivated by the phrase, "one new humanity," in v. 15. I'm coupling this with the idea of becoming who we already are. At the ELCA youth gathering in New Orleans, we have around 34,000 young people studying this text as well. It's been exciting watching the live stream of the worship and keynote speakers. It has given me food for thought in my own ponderings.

    I have coffee and some chocolate zucchini cake to share (courtesy of my neighbor!) Happy sermonating one and all.

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    1. Ooh, I had chocolate-zucchini cake at book group last week. Really good.

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    2. Ivy, how cool that the youth are studying this text and that there is so much energy around it! I will probably preach on Ephesians when we get to Chap. 4...

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  13. Sermon is posted here

    Formatting issues in that I highlighted information I wanted to include and then cut and pasted...and I can't get rid of it. oh well...such is life.

    This is not the sermon I would preach the church I served was in the Denver area...or had someone present at the theater. I hope it is place where the church can come to "see" in a new way instead of always condemning.

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  14. I'm preaching Ephesians 2, spent a bit of time this week on the Greek and reading a bunch of articles. Thinking about how to talk about the tragedy in Aurora, Colorado, without exploiting the victims or ignoring their murders. Also debating traveling to see my dad in the hospital - third time since May - or waiting until Monday, when he'll probably be home. Sigh.

    The most interesting learning experience I had this week was investigating the term "dividing wall," which while a key part of the passage, is a hapax, the only time it's used in the New Testament. Kittle wrote about the dividing wall being between man and God, and due to blah blah blah certainly did not refer to what separated Christians and Jews. Every other source talks about Christ tearing down the wall distinguishing Jews from other followers of the Way. I'm so glad for my colleague who pointed out to me that many of the scholars who worked on Kittle were if not outright Nazis, certainly anti-Semitic. This made me dig further, as well as trust my instincts about the passage.

    Not that any of that will make it into my sermon, which is why I had to share it with y'all. I love the imagery of those who are far off and those who are near, being brought together in unity in Christ. Thinking about who is far off in our society. What are our dividing walls. I always look for the imperative verbs, and the only one in this passage is right at the beginning - Remember! Remember that once you were far off. Now you are near, how to you see and respond to those who might be drawn in to this life in Christ?

    Ah well. Driving time is good thinking time. Peace to y'all. I'm off to make waffles in my new waffle-griddle thingee that was on sale at the kitchen store. And go to the farmer's market for blueberries.

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    1. Your reflection reminds me of this poem:

      Robert Frost. 1875–

      64. Mending Wall

      SOMETHING there is that doesn't love a wall,
      That sends the frozen-ground-swell under it,
      And spills the upper boulders in the sun;
      And makes gaps even two can pass abreast.
      The work of hunters is another thing:
      I have come after them and made repair
      Where they have left not one stone on stone,
      But they would have the rabbit out of hiding,
      To please the yelping dogs. The gaps I mean,
      No one has seen them made or heard them made,
      But at spring mending-time we find them there.
      I let my neighbor know beyond the hill;
      And on a day we meet to walk the line
      And set the wall between us once again.
      We keep the wall between us as we go.
      To each the boulders that have fallen to each.
      And some are loaves and some so nearly balls
      We have to use a spell to make them balance:
      "Stay where you are until our backs are turned!"
      We wear our fingers rough with handling them.
      Oh, just another kind of outdoor game,
      One on a side. It comes to little more:
      He is all pine and I am apple-orchard.
      My apple trees will never get across
      And eat the cones under his pines, I tell him.
      He only says, "Good fences make good neighbors."
      Spring is the mischief in me, and I wonder
      If I could put a notion in his head:
      "Why do they make good neighbors? Isn't it
      Where there are cows? But here there are no cows.
      Before I built a wall I'd ask to know
      What I was walling in or walling out,
      And to whom I was like to give offence.
      Something there is that doesn't love a wall,
      That wants it down!" I could say "Elves" to him,
      But it's not elves exactly, and I'd rather
      He said it for himself. I see him there,
      Bringing a stone grasped firmly by the top
      In each hand, like an old-stone savage armed.
      He moves in darkness as it seems to me,
      Not of woods only and the shade of trees.
      He will not go behind his father's saying,
      And he likes having thought of it so well
      He says again, "Good fences make good neighbors."

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    2. For some reason, today that poem makes me sad.

      Some of those waffles, please!

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    3. I think the poem is sad...

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    1. No doubt, this is a crummy title - thank goodness we don't publish titles in our bulletin...sigh. I am tired.

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  16. I'm back from vacation and starting on Ephesians; just finished reading last weeks preacher party. Can't seem to get focused tho, even with DH and boys gone to see The Amazing Spiderman and the house quiet. Hope everyone else has the HS flowing!

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    1. Welcome back RevTSB - it is a hard re-entry, no doubt! I hope you find your mojo and the Spirit inspires you!

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  17. I have yet to start but am planning to focus on a theme of rest as several of you are too, I see. As a church we have had a period with a number of deaths which have hit many people hard and many serious illnesses. Even before this week I knew I was going to have to address the weariness that people were feeling. This week however 3 members have died - one very suddenly, 2 after protracted illnesses - and people are struggling. And so am I.
    It doesn't help that someone decided this week to lay into me about not visiting when they thought I should have - in a very aggressive and hurtful way. I think I was in the firing line when there are perhaps other issues but it hurt nonetheless.
    I need a rest too but perhaps if I can preach on the value of finding rest - aware that for some that is something that feels very difficult to acheive - I can try to take some of my own advice.

    One of the things that prompted this was a number of people telline me that God will not give me more than I can handle and I think that is a statement that needs to be challenged. Maybe not everything I am trying to handle comes from God.

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    1. Oh Tanya, I so understand the wear on the community when so much death has occured...and then to be confronted by someone who expected more visitation - ack! Very hurtful. And of course to the one who feels neglected it matters not that there were so many other issues to attend too....(and I do not like that statment - "God will not give us more than we can handle"..seriously bad theology about the nature of God)....so sorry for this difficult time for you. Rest, a reflection on rest sounds just right.

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  18. Tomatoes to offer here: huge juicy Mortgage Lifters and smaller, very sweet oval shaped ones. Enjoy!

    I knew I wanted to preach on Jesus going to a deserted place, even if just for a short break. I have had a horrible week at home, and I know that idea of getting away holds appeal for me! Thursday night, running on the high school track with the field lights shining on soccer practice, I became enthralled with watching my shadows...because of all the lights, never just one and in some spots as many as five. Short, tall, distinct, faint, all different and all changing. I began to see those as the roles in my life, changing from moment to moment but always something there. The only way to be just me--God's child resting in God's love--is to step out away from the lights and into the welcoming darkness for a bit, into a deserted place. For some of us, it is the roles we carry now, pulling us in many ways, or it can be roles from the past that still stick to us and shape us. Whatever they may be, we need that time apart, just to be, though we often actually avoid it. I think I am going to start with the Robert Louis Stephenson poem "My Shadow."

    That's the plan, anyway, and it is half written so I am pretty sure I will stick with it!

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    1. Sorry things are tough,, Betsy...however your run and the image of shadow sounds delightful.

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    2. What a fabulous analogy you have managed to draw - so visual!

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  19. This prayer was shared on Friday by Shalem Institute. I'm going to adapt it to use tomorrow.

    "God of Goodness,
    You know that the violence in our community is out of control. It is taking our helpless and innocent ones, it is taking our children.

    And, we confess that beyond the violence in our streets, is the violence in our own hearts. We contribute to a culture of violence whenever we give in to hatred, fear, indifference, and our own self-satisfaction.

    It seems that we are growing numb to the suffering, the loss, the indignity done to our sisters and brothers and to our Earth.

    But in our hearts, and in the heart of the community, help us to value life and beauty over instant satisfaction, and to value sharing over greed.

    Empower us to acknowledge and affirm our children, ourspouses, our neighbors and seek respectful solutions to our conflicts. Create through us a world where it will be easier to be good.

    Your spirit, given to us is not timid. Therefore, each of us can do something, person by person, family by family, community by community, to realize that we are one – one body, one people, one earth. By Your design, we thrive or we perish together.

    Holy One, give us the grace of hope. Give us the dedication to goodness and truth as we seek to restore our community to wholeness and life. Enable us in this way, to take back our city from the violence and crippling fear we find in our midst.

    Trusting that your desire for us is peace, not disaster, we pray this in Your name. Amen"

    Author: Archdiocese of New Orleans/SComiskey
    Thursday, July 2nd 2009

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    1. Wonderful prayer. Thank you for sharing.

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    2. thank you for sharing this prayer.

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    3. What a beautiful prayer. Thank you for sharing it.

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  20. Writing on 2 Samuel (David's house) and Ephesians (house of God) with the theme that the CHURCH (God's House) is not a building but PEOPLE. At one church, which is booming, this will be a celebration of our new homebound communion ministry---extending the walls of the church. At the other church, which is talking about closing, the sermon is going to be much harder.

    The good news is that I spent the week with one of the jurisdictional conferences in the UMC, and we elected new bishops. The praise is that my conference is now receiving our first female bishop, and I am overjoyed enough that it makes the church-on-the-verge-of-closure-because-they-refuse-to-accept-me-as-a-woman-pastor situation more bearable.

    God's *people* are what make the church...

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  21. Greetings everyone! I'm darting in, trying to write a sermon quickly and make the minutes count before I'm off to officiate at a wedding tonight. Got back from a week away teaching last night, so am tired. And need to do laundry and pack to leave again tomorrow after church. (She Rev and Purple, is it possible I am going to the same event you are?)

    Anyway, all of this makes it very difficult and perhaps even more imperative that I preach on Mark and resting. I see so many points that speak to the people here. But it's bugging me a LOT that Jesus and the disciples don't actually GET the rest. The people get there first and their needs end up ruling the day. This is not how we get Sabbath, people! So struggling with that. I do have a halfway decent sustainable sermon on 2 Samuel, so could go with that if I just can't get anywhere with Mark.

    Hoping things are coming together for everyone else.

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    1. Synod School for me semfem.

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    2. Hmm, then I don't think it's the same. I'm going to the Engle Institute at Princeton (anybody else here going?).

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  22. Well, I can\t be certain but it sounds as if SheRev, Purple, and SemFem will all be at the same event this week! I hope so, and I hope y'all have a good, restful experience....and, semfem, I hope the words are pouring out of you so you can do all you need to do!

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    1. Two out of three of us. :) Purple and I are heading to Iowa for a week-long inter-generational conference/camp thing. Actually, Carol Howard Merritt is the convocation speaker, too.

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    2. Packing for synod school! So looking forward to hearing Carol and Chris Levin. Are we there yet???

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    3. I'm not there yet! I'm looking forward to both Carol and Chris, too. The year Chris did the Prodigal Son for morning convocation was my first year. 2005. I took his Sistine Chapel class 2 years ago, though. Love him. The three of us will have to find each other somehow. I have my husband and kids along for the trip, though, which makes that a little harder. We'll make it work.

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  23. I am most certainly NOT yet yearning for fall....it feels like summer just arrived, and yesterday I had to close all the downstairs windows again as it was quite cool and rainy.

    I actually wrote my sermon yesterday as well, on the readings for the Feast of Mary Magdalen. The OT reading is from Judith which we NEVER get in the lectionary so I talked about her story and about MM as examples of faith...I need to go back and reread it b/c I fear the ending is weak and needs some revision.

    I wrote yesterday b/c I was supposed to go to a diocesan meeting today, but I've been fighting a summer cold and when my alarm went off at the way-too-early hour at which I needed to get up, I felt awful. So I stayed home. I still have a wicked headache and feel lethargic, and it is such a shame because it is a glorious day. Still hoping I might feel well enough for run before the day is out. Alternatively considering going to by a thermometer to see if I have a fever ... sort of feels like it. :(

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    1. Oh, RevDrMom, sorry you are not well....ick. I get that feeling though - exercise and burn the cold out of one's system....or subcomb to it and rest completely. I hope what ever you do you feel better. And, I love the idea of preaching on MM...must remember that.

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    2. Good for you for choosing rest! I did MM several years ago and had a wonderful time with her; I hope you and your congregation do too.

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  24. I meant to say earlier that we of the Anglican Church of Southern Africa have much cause for celebration. Some of you may have read that one of our fellowship has just been elected as the first woman bishop in Africa. YES!

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    1. Yes! Pat, so very exciting! COngratulations to all of you!

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    2. Not to be a spoil-sport, but she's the second woman bishop in Africa! She gets to join Bishop Joaquina Nhanala of the UMC who was elected four years ago! Bp Nhanala is appointed to Mozambique and South Africa Annual Conferences.... I wonder what it is about southern Africa that makes it possible for women to break through the stained glass ceiling when they haven't been able to in the rest of the continent??

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  25. Well, I'm supplying the pulpit again. The parish has six points and I'm taking two of them. I don't know the people at all, only having talked with the pastors once or twice. I like to know the people before I fill their pulpit, but that's not often possible, is it?

    In any case, I posted my first draft here. I suspect that I'll make some edits and revisions. The liturgy is already done, so I don't have much else to do to prepare for tomorrow--besides printing off a map from home to the churches.

    I'll pop back in later. I have a growler of cold press to throw into the mix.

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    1. I'll be around later to read your sermon - and having spent a year doing supply work, I get it...

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  26. Hooray for new bishops! (I'm not Methodist, but I'm married to one).

    I am recycling a sermon that I thought was about the Ephesians text, and it is, but it's really more on the 2 Samuel text. Comparing/contrasting the walls that David wanted to build and the walls we build that Christ breaks down. It surprisingly was pretty decent and didn't require many adjustments.

    Supply preaching at my teensiest congregation tomorrow (last time was 5 adults, two middle schoolers, and me). I also hope I do not meet the black widow spider that was there last time. Eek!

    Can hardly wait for church to be over, as we're going to meet up for lunch with clergy couple friends who have an adorable new baby boy.

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    1. Esperenza - a black widow - eek! oh my. be safe. and also, I hope you have fun after church!

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    2. Yeah, I saw it first and misidentified it. Pianist killed it after the service. Hopefully it didn't have any friends or family.

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  27. I'm back from my funeral which was great! I'll take it as a compliment when the pastor from the man's childhood church said, "You preached like us Baptists!" It was a good day.

    I've got my causal plans for tomorrow's outdoor service. Now I just have to hope the weather holds. We can move it inside, but it makes the interactive fun stuff seem a little weird if it happens inside. Everyone is way more lenient and permissive about casual things when we're outside.

    I've lost one of my books that I'm teaching at Synod School next week. So annoying. I wanted to refresh it in my mind in the car tomorrow and that's not going to happen if I don't find it. Or I'll need to buy it for my iPad which I hate to do when I've already purchased it. I gotta do what I've gotta do, though.

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    1. No doubt, that is a compliment! I hope the book, what a pain to have to buy it again!..

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  28. Not preaching tomorrow. We are doing camp songs and memories with a gifted singer and storyteller. Leaves me a day to do laundry and get ready for a week away

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  29. Woohoo! Just finished the sermon! And it was actually on the thing I felt the Spirit really wanted me to preach on! YAY!

    Now to quickly get ready for this wedding and be off. I also found out about a parishioner in a bad car accident, transferred to a hospital near where the wedding is, so looks like I'm skipping the reception and making a quick visit there.

    I'll be back later--there are still a few things to do, like a children's sermon (???) and prayers--but it feels good to have the main hurdle cleared.

    Sending the Spirit towards anyone who needs her right now!

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    1. If it's any help...I think for the family service I will be doing something with contrasting noise and quiet. Giving sections of the church different lines to say: heal me, help me, teach me, etc. Add them one at a time to create a din...then peaceful quiet. Idea of stepping away from the noise to a quiet place where we can talk to and hear God. Vague, but you get the idea; I just know kids love being invited to make noise in church!

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    2. Betsy, that will delightful!

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  30. I've yet to read all your comments, maybe after worship this morning [Sunday 7.30 am here]
    Today I am using some video footage from our National Assembly meeting, and linking it briefly to the 2 Samuel reading. what is God building. My husband was a member of the Assembly, and he will talk about his experience.

    I have put on my blog, the sermon from 6 years ago, which was the very first Sunday I preached in this, my first, placement. what is being built
    also put up a photo, which was taken during the [my] ordination service

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    1. Loved seeing your ordination photo!

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  31. after today I am not preaching for 5 weeks, and I feel like a need the break. winter is only half over, and with the trouble I have had with my voice [much better now], I am looking forward to annual leave, and 2 weeks in North Queensland, which is much warmer than here in Sydney.
    while it is late in the day for many of you, for me it is time to get organised and head down to morning worship.
    I'll drop by later

    children's talk is on rest

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    1. Pearl, i hope the time off from preaching will be just the respite you need to heal and renew.

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  32. Ok, everyone, keep the party going! I have to head out to attend a parishioners 50th birthday party. But I won't be late...

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  33. Well, I am so drained emotionally from a memorial, burial of a younger saint of the church. Long story, perhaps I will blog about it, but so, so, so sad. I have a "meditation" for tomorrow but it's on the light side. I think I will rework later, but today feels like it's all about the spirit of my saint angel. Maybe that is a boundary thing, but I feel that it is one of those only one of a life-time persons that you meet.

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    1. Oh Karla, so sad, so very sorry. Yes, experiences like that can leave us unable to do any more....just be. I'm sure your meditarion will be enough.

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  34. Somehow I had the prescience, on Tuesday, to send the church secretary the sermon title of "Wool-gathering." Now it's Saturday night, and what have I been doing all week instead of writing a sermon?!?

    I'm trying to preach something that pulls Psalm 23 together with the Ephesians and Mark passages, but I think Ephesians will actually get short shrift even though I love it, because this is a supply gig and I don't know enough to preach to this congregation's particular issues.

    Basic theme: Jesus & disciples understood that rest, reflection & recreation are vital to their work, yet even they faced challenges when they tried to make space for those things in their lives. Even so, in the midst of our own challenges and muddles, we can seek opportunities for rest, reflection, and creativity. Just like ancient shepherds, who made music--and instruments--for their own workaday recreation, we can emulate our Good Shepherd by exploring our own deep rhythms and sources of harmony.

    Er, yeah. And sometimes, we need to stop wool-gathering and just sit down and write a sermon.

    (Fresh green beans and corn-on-the-cob for anyone who wants them!)

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    1. er, yeah, I get this - sigh, hope the sermon comes together well. I have green beans from my garden and broccoli and, soon, brussel sprouts - but alas, no cauliflower, and I didn't grow corn - but I love corn on the cob!

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  35. Well, all y'all, I have to call it a day....and a night. Party on! I'll check in in the morning. May the Spirit guide your words, soothe your rest, inspire your sleep, and have your back.

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  36. Today had a bunch of stuff but the best part was a really long nap! Sermon is done. Working on the prayers now

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  37. Hello again everyone...wedding, CHECK, emergency hospital visit, CHECK, and most importantly: sermon, CHECK! Now to do the prayers and children's sermon, and pack.

    Glad things are coming together for us all.

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    1. Semfem, glad it all worked out. Next time you are in this neck of the woods, let me know.

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    2. I will, Megan! It may not be until August, but I'm sure I'll be around sometime as soon as I can. It would be great to see you.

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  38. Tonight I participated in a Google hangout with a twitter group #dreampcusa. To think that a few short years ago I was a confirmed lurker. Tonight I am giving thanks for technology and the ability to form renewing community. Where ever you may be, the Holy Spirit has your back. God's peace

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  39. I spent the last five days at our Jurisdictional Conference. I was so blessed to meet a fellow revgalblogpal in person. I am thankful that I am off lectionary this summer because I am going to talk about the call to ministry and the special calling that we affirmed in three episcopal candidates this week. Besides that, we are singing one of my favorite hymns, "The Summons."

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    1. Hi, Megan!! :-) Great to see you at NEJ too!

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  40. We're close to 100 so I guess I'll chime in with not much, but something to push us closer.

    I've been scrambling to
    1. get the family packed for our trip to Synod School tomorrow,
    2. get the transformation team at church organized since they kick into high gear in just over two weeks and I'll be out of town for two weeks
    3. finish writing the worship bulletin for next week since we don't have a supply preacher and are doing a lay lead (meaning, me-composed) worship thing instead,
    4. do my own laundry since apparently my husband did all of the laundry in the house BUT mine,
    5. make lunches for the road trip tomorrow,
    6. oh yeah - - plan worship for tomorrow!!!

    Thankfully, I'm not writing a sermon this time, but working on some meditations with play dough. I'm not too worried about it, but still. It needs to be done. Oy.

    I'm working on any and all of this until midnight, then going to bed. I'll get up at 5:30 or 6:00 and do the rest. Hopefully I have some help with some of it. :)

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  41. Yay for 100 posts. I am tired,unlike the discipiles I have eaten a meal of Chicken Parminga, roasted asparragus , salad, and bread for my parents' 50th wedding anniversary. And we topped it off with Italian Cream Cake. Lovley meal, with lovely company, but I am beat.
    I would love to go away on a boat right now and sleep.
    I am thinking I will finish up on the sermon in the AM as I ponder Compassion Fatigue.
    Hope you are all well. Virtual leftover cake (THAT'S YUMMY) is in the fridge. Help yourselves and happy sermonizing to all and to all a good night. Those who are on the other side of the pond, Good Morning to you

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  42. Anyone still up? I am trying to get finished; I have the capacity to drag out writing a conclusion for a ridiculously long period of time. I am going with David Lose's idea from Working Preacher; it fit perfectly. Hooray and all that.

    Prayers and rest for all.

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  43. Well, even when I don't need to stay up all night, I find myself doing it anyway! I guess I was more tired than I realized, because I conked out in my chair for a good four hours. Then woke up and put together a children's sermon on the concept of God's house, tweaked the prayers, and polished the sermon. Now maybe some packing (???) and a few more hours of sleep.

    Blessings on all pondering, preaching, and proclamation tomorrow. Safe travels to all who are going on vacation or to continuing ed.

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  44. Someday I want to see this chair in which you sleep, semfem. I always imagine an office chair at a desk or something, and I can't figure out how you sleep in it so easy. Maybe it's a Lazy Boy.

    I went to bed later than I had hoped with with a WHOLE lot of stuff done on my list. I never did find a guided meditation that I liked on the internet, so here I am writing my own. I've never done this sort of thing, and I don't know if I like what I'm writing. I don't think it's bad. It's just so foreign to my usual writing and actually, even though this was all my idea, I don't really usually like even participating in guided meditation. I just don't think that should preclude the congregation from trying new things!

    Oh well. Almost done. Almost read to shower. Definitely ready to eat (then make lunches, finishing my packing, making sure the kids of underwear in their suitcases still - - sometimes they take it out to make room for the really important stuff like cars or princesses or My Little Ponies). Off to worship in about 90 minutes, then on the road to Iowa!

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