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Saturday, September 01, 2012

11th Hour Preacher Party: A Labor of Love Labor Day Weekend Party

Desert monsoon storm
fall harvest
a summer garden
Salt Lake City mountain view
my God-daughters stopping to smell the flowers while on a hike
Highway 12, Southern Utah, north of Escalante














"...now the winter is past, the rain is over and gone.The flowers appear on the earth; the time of singing has come, and the voice of the turtledove is heard in our land. The fig tree puts forth its figs, and the vines are in blossom; they give forth fragrance. Arise, my love, my fair one, and come away."

Welcome, beloved preacher and pals of preachers! Welcome to the party. Are you considering preaching of the love-text from Song of Solomon (Song of Songs?)....or are you going with its partner text, Psalm 45? Perhaps you are preparing to enter the "Season of Creation" and will introduce it as proposed by the Process and Faith Blog


It’s also possible to use the text as a launching pad into exploring the interdependent relationships between humans and the flora and fauna of our world, since the poetic similes of the text refer to various creatures as points of comparison.

 This may be where I go with the text....preparation for the Season of Creation which we will begin next week.

But, perhaps you are drawn to Deuteronomy, Psalm 15 or James? 

Or maybe you are relieved to be back to the Gospel of Mark? Grateful to finally be finished with the long set of John 6 readings. (I'm grateful I was on vacation for a couple of those Sunday's and only had to reflect on blood and flesh, bread and wine, twice)...(not that there's anything wrong with blood and flesh, bread and wine, as an Episcopal priest I use those words every Sunday....but, even still...)

Regardless of  where you are going, and especially if you have no idea where you are going...



We are here for you! A Labor of Love Labor Day weekend party! Plenty of food and drink to keep us energized and focused. We have ideas to share and any other support you may need. Pull up a chair! Can I get you a cup of coffee? I have espresso or regular-fair trade. Let the party begin.



84 comments:

  1. Saturday evening and time to get something written for tomorrow morning. problem is I have had two ideas in my head this week, maybe I'll go with both. it is also my first Sunday back after 5 Sundays not preaching,[which means I missed all of John and bread and blood] so having a little trouble getting back into gear.

    we are going with the Season of Creation this year, so looking at Genesis one tomorrow. seems it was written during the Babylonian exile, which brings a different meaning. I also like how the text keeps repeating 'and God saw that it was good'. last weekend there were a few articles in newspapers here about the lack of outdoor activity for young people today, and how it is effecting their development in terms of ability to walk on uneven ground, and an increased risk of short-sightedness. so another area I want to include.

    there is freshly made vanilla ice cream if anyone wants some.

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  2. I'm doing an interview and neutral pulpit this weekend, which means the sermon is already "done" because I'll be spending all day today interviewing/touring/meeting/discerning. It's off-lectionary, because I'm not brave enough to preach any of those texts for a neutral pulpit!! Would love some feedback. It's here.

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    1. All blessings and many prayers for your weekend. Off to read the sermon.

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    2. Hope all is going well and the Spirit is moving in our heart and the heart of the potential church.

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  3. Good morning! I am preaching from the Song of Songs, and I am hoping it will be a 'feel good' kind of sermon. It's been a tough week for a few of us - dealing with the fall-out from a church member's nasty email, that of course, was cc'd to a bunch of people. Very hurtful. But, the good thing in that is that when our leaders met to discuss what to do, I do believe the Holy Spirit was present in that meeting, inspiring actions that were gracious and for the good of the Body...and not the actions that our human sides wanted to take. Didn't mean to ramble, but you know how these conflicts can eat up your mind, time, and spirit.

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    1. Oh my, Chilly. If you have the support of the church leadership and you are all on the same page, all should go well. Prayers for you!

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    2. What a week it must have been for you and your congregation. Glad you have the support of your leaders.

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  4. [10.30 pm] ready to call it a night, a short sermon tomorrow, but there is also an introduction to the theme of creation, with some holiday photos :) and communion.
    season of Creation Planet Earth day
    Chilly fingers, I wonder what happened before the advent of e-mail and photocopiers, much harder to send multiple copies. I am glad your leaders meeting handled the situation well.

    the kettle is on, help yourself to a cuppa,

    I'll be back in the morning to say Hi to you all,

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    1. A good introduction to Season of Creation with some thought provoking questions!

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  5. hi, not preaching (again) this weekend. in fact, the incoming sr. pastor looked at me this weekend, after a summer of 8 funerals and 6 weddings and 2 years of being in interim and said, "would you like the weekend off?" I said yes (although I do have a wedding tomorrow afternoon).

    today, I'm not laboring, which is unusual but nice for a saturday.

    If I were preaching, I would want to take the Song of Songs reading. but I might also say something about Resting.

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  6. We have a baptism and communion, so I'm taking a short stab at connecting Mark with what we are doing. Focusing on "the heart" and trying to see the converse (?) of what Jesus actually said: "Their hearts are far from me. . . Sin comes out of the heart." Flipping it over to see how in Christ our hearts are made clean and brought close to God. (I could call it "Flipping Jesus' Words"? - not a sermon title I want to put on the board outside!!) Washing the heart. Feeding the heart. Something like that.
    But I LOVE the Song of Songs and am doing that next week (or sometime soon!) for sure.

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    1. "Flippin' Jesus' WOrds" I love it!

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  7. Hello, all! Thanks for hosting, Terri!

    For tomorrow, I am going to rejuvenate a sustainable sermon. It was good once upon a time; perhaps it'll preach again! I just have too much on my plate at the moment, such as:

    Today is finally the day that I put my house up for sale. The realtor is coming later. The plumber is coming to fix a kitchen faucet drip. I am trying to figure out how (and where!) to divest myself of a certain large number of preacher/pastor books that I don't want to move again, and I really want them to go to good homes.

    And -- (taking a breath here) -- I leave tomorrow after worship service for a trip to the Dallas area to enjoy my nieces and their parents (my sis and BIL) for two weeks. For a few days during that time, their parents will go away and the girls (ages 13 & 17) and I will have a "wild rumpus"! I made these plans In January, when I didn't know that I would be completing this current interim ministry the last Sunday of September.

    Some very good news is that I am under consideration at another interim ministry setting. It is located some (great!) distance from here, but in territory that is familiar territory to me. Whatever happens, it does appear that there is a geographic move in my near future, and that's strangely more exciting to me than it is panic-producing. At least for now!

    So, that's all to say that I will be back later to join the late night party to work on my sermon for tomorrow after I check some things off of my ridiculously ambitious list!

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    1. Oh my! Enjoy that trip - it sounds like great fun. And, sometimes a good move can very cleansing and healing - I hope this is so for you, should this next interim position work out.

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    2. Have a wonderful time here in the Metroplex. Will love thinking of you being so close. Blessings on the next call.

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    3. Sharon good luck on that interim. Let me know if you decide to slip off to new Mexico when you are in Dallas

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    4. Maybe we need a Metroplex RevGal Meet-up??

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    5. Have a great trip, Sharon! Wise planning. It's always good to be out of the way when one's house goes on the market.

      Fingers crossed for that interim.

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  8. The last three weeks of preaching were pretty "full...with lots to think about". I am preaching on the Bible...literally...what it is and is not. It has turned out the path was through humor. Just some bits and pieces right now so time to turn that into something more.

    The texts: Genesis 1:1-2 and Revelation 21:22
    Title: "Bookends"

    First though, some breakfast. Eggs and toast...not original...but it works.

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    1. Bookends - GOod title. I did a Bible Survey this summer - every book of the Bible in five weeks. Just an overview - we didnt read it all. But it was ood to gain a snese of the whole Bible.

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    2. Hmm. Bookends. Looking forward to reading it.

      Have a great trip to Dallas.

      Fingers crossed for the interim.

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  9. Good Morning! The host is in the house! I've been up for hours already - exercised, feed dogs and cats, made coffee, read the sermons already posted here! Now, off to do some exegesis on Songe of SOngs.....

    More coffee anyone?

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  10. Wow. Just finished. Time to walk the dogs and get my hair done and go to the farmers' market. What a treat. You'll find my little trifle on Love Songs
    HERE

    Will check back later to see what everyone is up to. Have a great day of writing.

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    1. wow RevAlli! I'll be over in a bit to read your offering. Enjoy the famers market!

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    2. Love it! I especially love the way you added in the blues bit, makes it more accessible for those who aren't ready to hear a love song, I think. :)

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    3. RevAlli - thanks so much - you have given me inspiration for preaching on Song of Songs. I couldn't think where to start, but your mention of U2 reminded me of a U2charist I did recently, so I can use that and talk of how words and melodies are so evocative in our living.

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  11. So nice to start the day with coffee & RevGals, thanks Terri for the opener and lovely pix. I'm easing into the day. Plan to preach 2 meditations - Mark & James. We Brethren love James so I can't miss the opp to visit him. Have most of the meditation on Mark done. Will post after I get back to it. "Jesus; political not politician"

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    1. Nancy - Good title!

      I forgot to mention that I have homemade whole wheat zucchini bread made from zucchini grown in my garden (organic) and includes chunks of dark chocolate.

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  12. Morning all - I'm up and working through my sermon. Preaching on Song os Solomon but not entirely sure where I'm going with it just yet. Hoping to get it done EARLY for once, since I have a MAJOR paper due tomorrow and it's nowhere close to done. *sigh* I'm definitely looking forward to a holiday Monday to rest, and maybe do some sight seeing in this new place, or maybe stay home and do some canning.

    Hope you're all well - holding you in prayer as you write, and in whatever else you've got going on in your lives.

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    1. Welcome "Back to Shine!" I too hope your sermon pours out of you and you can get to the other work you need to do...and then, especially to some rest!

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  13. Ok...I have some thoughts on paper, maybe even a direction...but need to get the dogs out before it gets to be too warm...sigh...I'll be back. Keep the party going!

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  14. Good morning preachers!

    Tomorrow will be a not typical Sunday; although we are going back to our "regular" schedule of two services, the second one will be at a local park with other Episcopal churches in the area. At the second service the other priest and I are going to do a dialogue sermon (which makes me nervous b/c I've never done one) so I'm thinking I might go casual at the 8:00 service and not write out a full manuscript. I rarely do that on a Sunday because I like to write and feel like I am more articulate when I write everything out. But it's Labor Day and attendance will be low and I'm just back from vacation and I feel like doing something different, and doing something more casual seems to fit better with what I'm doing at the 2nd service. So we'll see how I fee about it come tonight. But first I need to go do some reading on James b/c that is the text that I'm most drawn to this week/

    As I write our one big stain glass window over the altar is being removed for repair...it will be gone for about six months and the bill will be large, so even thought I sent out a letter about that before I went on vacation, I am expecting some questions about what we're doing.

    I'm also afraid not many people are going to actually show up for the picnic and service in the park. Seemed like a great idea when we planned it, but it there doesn't seem to be a lot of enthusiasm for it now, in my church or in the other participants, from what I hear. :(

    Greek yogurt and golden raspberries here...help yourselves.

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    1. People are so peculiar...I do hope the turn out is better than expected and that people enjoy the service. It's a great idea! Dialogue sermons can be a lot of fun - I hope yours is.

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    2. I"ve noticed that what people think is a good idea and what they will attend are not always the same. sigh. I hope you can enjoy it anyway.

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  15. I have a "finished" sermon ... the quotes are because I'm not sure I want to preach it. I like parts of it but then ... hmm, not so much. But really I want to be geocaching. And I need to do a couple of things around the house. Maybe if I go geocaching, I'll figure out how to fix what I don't like with the sermon. How that for rationalization?

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    1. Works for me. Put the sermon on the back burner and let your brain simmer!

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    2. getting out and walking always helps me...

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  16. Back from a 3 week vacation that had us driving 4400 miles in 8 states in 20 days. But I got to see more family than I have seen in years, got to hold my new great-nephew, see my daughter get married and wish my grandmother a happy 100th birthday. A good vacation, but not a relaxing one.

    And I seem to have brought some sort of cold home as a souvenir! Blah.

    I am still trying to climb out from under the paperwork that accumulates when you're gone 3 weeks. I realized as I got ready to leave that the timing of this vacation was bad - it's hard to get ready for the fall program kick-off when you're gone a good part of August.

    We're starting a 5 week series on James with an accompanying daily reading. I'm going to try something different and post a daily devotional on my blog and encourage people to visit and comment. We'll see how it goes. I haven't yet figured out how to include the half of my parishioners who don't do internet.

    My bulletin printing volunteers (my spouse and son) have informed me that there's a big game at 3:00 and they want to have everything done before then. In other words - hurry up and finish the bulletin and newsletter! First things first, I guess.


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    1. Ramona, what a great trip you had. I do concur with your assesment of August vacations - very hard re-entry as the fall program year is "ON!"

      Regarding your parishioners without internet: can you print off the blog posts at the end of each week and give them to them on Sunday? They'd be a week behind but they'd be included.

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  17. ohh I like the daily reading idea, wish I had thought to include that in the bulletin. ah well. My first meditation is up on my blog. It will be fun but I hope my "We don't want to hear anything political" people are away this week because it doesn't get more political than this....

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  18. Is it wrong that I want to use "disturbance in the force" in my pastoral prayer??? sigh

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  19. Nancy, I like sermon a lot. and I don't think that is wrong in the prayer, unless you are worried about references to Star Wars...

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    1. thanks Terri, It will be fun to preach - I think. I just watched Colbert's interview with Clint's chair and LOL thanks to @this1littlebird tweet. If you haven't seen it and are...still getting around to your writing, here's the diversion from Huff post's comedy page
      here I mean

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    2. Nancy, thank you for that link. Brilliant.

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    3. Rev Nancy,

      Thanks for the sermon (it will make enduring this campaign season more interesting) and for the link to Colbert. Hope you have fun preaching tomorrow.

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  20. I'm not assisting or preaching this week, but Fellow Traveler and I are paired up (without prior knowledge) as Presenters/Servers. This is FT's first time in the rotation and is feeling pretty angsty about this responsibility, even though we traditionally have a thin crowd on Labor Day weekend. I'm thinking I'll let her hold the chalice (not a great deal of chalice action at our place other than intinction)and offer the wee cuppies myself.

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    1. LutheranChik, sounds like a good idea, pastoral and gentle intro

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  21. Jumping into James for the month of September. Quite a change following John 6. Blessings on each of you as you write and prepare for worship.

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    1. Welcome RevKel! thanks for the blessings...

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  22. Well the trouble with preaching 2 short meditations is that my head thinks I"m done after the first one...so I'm having trouble getting it together for the 2nd. I've finished all the reading that I started this week for the text...now..let's see, a snack?

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    1. I hear you Nancy...a walk, a snack...often help...I'm thinking of a bike ride.

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  23. I am camped out at the best table at my not-so-local Starbucks, which is far enough away that to go is a treat. That's supposed to be my motivation to get working sooner rather than later, and get this sermon done so I can get SLEEP tonight and be functional for a visit tomorrow afternoon after church.

    Also stressing about sending out an email that will probably make a few people upset, but it is necessary nonetheless. Sigh. Praying about that.

    I'm preaching Mark and Deuteronomy and maybe just a tad bit of James as well...pondering focusing on Sabbath (an interesting thing to do in the middle of Labor Day weekend here) or perhaps a bit wider focus. Beginning a series about tough lessons from Jesus, kind of a "going back to school" thing.

    I got the last piece of pumpkin bread (I cannot WAIT for pumpkin spice lattes!) but I'll pick up some other treats for the party.

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    1. YUM! more treats for the party! Welcome SemFem..sorry about the angst and the email...sigh. ick. Praying with you.

      I do hope the sermon gets done early and easily so you can sleep. Sounds as if you really need some good rest.

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  24. Well, I have spent a lot of time editing and tweaking my sermon...all the while half watching old episodes of Flashpoint.

    Now, I really need to go on a bike ride and then meditate....I'll be back later with iced tea and dark chocolate...

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  25. So I sat down to write down some notes or an outline and I ended up writing a manuscript--that's just how I roll, I guess. It's okay; it will work for the early service and serve as the basis for what I say (hopefully) at the later service. And I got to include a Harry Potter reference (the Mirror of Erised) ... can I admit publicly that I read that book a couple of times before I realized was Erised meant? (yeah, little slow there sometimes!)

    Okay, off to take care of some other necessary details--prayers of the people, things that need to be transported to the picnic, food for the picnic, etc. Back later!

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    1. What a great idea for the mirror reference!

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    2. And Sorcerer's Stone is replaying on HBOF

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  26. For all of July and August we have hosted early, shorter all age worship services with brief reflections rather than sermons and, though I will not be sorry to see the back of King David, with whom we've slogged over the summer, I'm not looking forward to producing sermons for 2 services with communion tomorrow.
    The one on the gospel reading seems to be coming along, although I'm addressing some thorny issues about "the church" being out of touch with community.
    Not sure, though what possessed me to choose Song of Songs for second service. Looks like it will be a long night for me!
    However it IS good to be back at this party! Thanks for hosting Terri.

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    1. Liz, I have done a shorter sermon for the summer too - but still had both services, and always communion. And I have followed the story of Saul, David, and Solomon, too - SOOOO, I hear you! Welcome to the party, and here's hoping the thorniness is not so much tomorrow.

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  27. Sermon is done. "Bookends" can be found here

    It is a bit of a take on Holy Humor Sunday as the Call to Worship is puns on biblical humor and I've used quite a bit in the sermon as well.

    If you have a chance I would appreciate feedback. Thanks...all!

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    1. It's really good! and folks will enjoy the laughs while learning and gaining 'perspective'. great pix too.

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  28. Not preaching for a couple of weeks. And working on the Syro-Phoenician woman for the seminary on 12 Sept. Just curious do you all hear the b-word when Jesus compares healing her daughter to throwing - I think the verb matters - food to dogs? [In the ANE dogs=pigs, like a cross between a rat and a hyena and in Israel dog=man-whore - I write "male sex worker" in the mss.] Any thoughts?

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    1. Next week is our church picnic...will probably preach on the Gospel...and, yes I do hear Jesus' tone as derogatory....

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  29. Rev. Wil, I plan to preach that story b/c I do love it. and yes, I hear a definite derogatory coming from jesus' lips. Hmmm how do you read that with James' 'taming the tongue'? Next week's party should be fun.

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  30. The fact that this cold has my brain wrapped in cotton is not helping the sermon process. And the decongestant I'm taking has me too amped up to actually sleep during the nap I thought would remove some of that cotton!

    James is not cooperating with me at all. I joked with my worship team that I was not going to write a sermon at all - just open the Bible and go through the first chapter verse by verse. That doesn't sound half bad now.

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    1. Drat, Ramona...I'm sorry you are not feeling well. I hate colds. Hate them. I hope you feel better, or at least well enough to be ready for tomorrow.

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  31. Already Sunday here - the morning service is done, Gospel reflection here
    Think I'll call it a night and let the Song of Songs percolate in my dreams. Not preaching that until the evening.

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    1. Liz, I have a couple of things to do - will be back soon to read your offering. thanks, for sharing it!

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  32. Ok, So my sermon is posted: True to God's Love

    Now a couple of things to do. I'll be back soon!

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    1. "From who we are to how we act" Beautiful. Thank you. And thank you for the pictures to start the day.

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    2. Thanks! and, You're welcome.

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  33. I have a great ending story and a great beginning story - the middle is meh. Maybe I'll just tell the stories and sit down.

    There are some truly great sermons posted already. I didn't comment, but thank you everyone for sharing some amazing insights. I even wish I was preaching on Song of Solomon!

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    1. Ramona, just do what you are able - if you have the great stories use them and tie them together in the simplest way.

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  34. I'm heading for the mystery novel. Thanks for the tip on another line Terri. Blessings to all the late-nighters. Counting on the HS as always.

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  35. Hi fellow preachers and friends. Sorry to add my 2 cents so late. It is Mark for me and I do not remember how to correctly post the link, so here is the url: http://claimedgatheredandsent.blogspot.com/2012/09/from-rules-to-relationship.html.

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    1. Thank you Terri. Had a great day today which included the Blessing of Backpacks.

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  36. Well my friends....it is the end of a long day for me...and the beginning of an even longer one tomorrow. So I am heading off to bed. I take with me your stories, your thoughts, your hopes and worries - and I hold them in prayer. May the Holy Spirit wrap her arms of peace and grace around you and sustain you. Blessings, all! And, thanks for partying with me.

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  37. special prayers requested for people who may be preaching in front of their parents-in-law? (I know one -- no, not me).

    Bread is in the first rise here, about to have my supper and then assemble a big batch of yogurt. Good Sunday all -- blessings all around!

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  38. Done! And posted HERE.

    Now I just have to wait for it to actually load to my tablet, which suddenly has decided it doesn't want to play nice with my kindle files. I really need to find a better way of getting my docs on my tablet.

    Good night and good preaching!

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    1. I have the best and most consistent download results with the "Send to Kindle" app - mac and kindle don't always speak to one another even through the cord.

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  39. Well, the significant addition to the sermon is a story I heard this week from a pastor of a different denomination that deeply impacted me. I've been carrying it with me since I heard it. I knew it fit with the sermon so I've added it. If I don't chicken out when I see the whites of their eyes I'll also say "we’ll take in the adulterer, and the gossiper, but we ostracize the drag queen because we pick and choose what we think is sin and which sins are okay and what we’re really saying is that we care more about our traditions than people."

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  40. Blogger keeps deleting my comments

    Just in case this gets through

    Blessings on your Sunday!

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