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Saturday, September 15, 2012

11th Hour Preacher Party: Not so DIY

I'm in the middle of a bathroom spruce-up project.  I'm not much of a tinker-around-the-house gal, so not only does this feel a little out of my league, it's also taking forever.  I came home from a continuing education trip at the beginning of August and with my kids in daycare and my husband at work I tore out the shower doors that I HATED.  Four and half years we have lived here, and I've hated them every day.  I finally tore them off the walls.  Then I went to the Orange Depot to get a bucket of paint and started slapping it on the walls.  Then I called the electrician about coming to take care of the "fart fan" (as my mother so lovingly calls it) and the lights on the medicine cabinet that I also hate. As others probably would have guessed better than I did, this little project didn't take too long to get bigger than I thought and way over my head.  My DIY project couldn't remain DI especially Y.  The electrician was in on it pretty quick.  I also called a church member who does carpentry.  Both of these guys were here today doing the stuff I couldn't do, so that next week I can get back to the part in my league.

That's what sermon writing is like for me, thanks to this Preacher Party.  There's parts I can do on my own, but parts I can't.  I need my friends and colleagues to help dig me out of the holes I drop myself into, to crack open the sermon like the wall behind my medicine cabinet, but leave it gaping for a little while, until I can think of the best way to patch it back up again.  I don't know how they did it in the "old days" before the internet, but, sisters, I'm glad we're here doing this in a not-so-DIY way now.

Join the party today!  We're here in the comments and can't wait to meet you.  Peace!

140 comments:

  1. None of us can do it on our own. I'm in a bad space - 3 and a half days of Synod and today a huge diocesan Eucharist. It starts at 10, we have to be there at 8 and I doubt if it will finish before 2, despite their promises of 12:30. On top of all this my organist has walked out without even telling us. I only found out when I emailed her and asked if she had received my notice of the hymns. No ill feeling, just doesn't want to play any more. We have no "home grown" organist in the parish. It was a big coup on my part to get someone permanent.
    Yesterday I celebrated 1 year in the parish. Not sure about the "celebration" part of it as I am really not sure if I have achieved anything. It's hard to be placed in a (difficult) first parish with no back up at all. I cannot share with anyone in the diocese.
    So after that whinge (had to get it off my chest - you sisters are my support!) the one good thing is that I had a re-cyclable sermon for tomorrow. Theme of who is Jesus to you? If we accept Jesus, though, then we also accept the cross. Hard for me at the moment as I feel as if I'm carrying a very heavy cross!

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    1. Pat, it sounds like a lot. Hope there is some sustenance in your Diocesan Eucharist. Hurray for sustainable sermons!

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    2. Pat, sorry you're going through all that. You're right about this community, though. It has helped me to survive in ministry. Sending hugs and prayers. X

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    3. Pat, I'm so sorry about your organist and about the weight of your ministry right now. Glad you have a sustainable one. I imagine that the weight of that cross that it feels like you're carrying right now will resonate through your sermon and make it rich and very different from the last time you preached it. (As I look back over your comment, I'm reminded that even Jesus didn't carry all the weight of the cross himself.)

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    4. Pat, holding you in prayer. That is a lot to carry. Glad you have this group to share the load.

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    5. I've read ahead and seen there's been at least a little peace in your day. I'm continuing to hold you in prayer, because that doesn't take it all away. We will carry it all with you as best we can.

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    6. Pat, seems as if you are doing a lot for this congregation. It's sad your organist left the way she did, that's unfortunate and unkind. I do hope the Spirit brings you an even better musician. Will be holding you in prayer.

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  2. Late afternoon in Beijing. Am preaching life-losing and the kingdom of reversals. Am quite distracted by thinking about the language of insults - about who or what is negatively valued (crazy, lame, retarded, gay etc) and how the kingdom is where those who are last and least are lifted up. So maybe there is a connection to be made between James 'With it we bless the Lord and Father, and with it we curse those who are made in the likeness of God' and the reading from Mark's Gospel. Or perhaps I am trying to do too much. I would like to have a better sense of that as the dinner hour approaches!

    There is warm gingerbread here - and it's gluten- egg- soy- and dairy-free and still tastes amazing! Happy to share!

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    1. What's compelling to me about the gospel is how Peter and Jesus lose it with each other not because they hate each other, but because they love each other and care so much about the same thing. They just don't see it the same way. If that happens between people who are trying to promote the same thing, how can we keep our tempers with people who are different?

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    2. In Beijing today thousands of people have been protesting at the Japanese embassy (about islands in the South China Sea). Japanese people have been warned by their embassy to stay away from crowds - Japanese cars, businesses and people have been attacked. Our congregation has both Japanese members and members of the Foreign Service whose colleagues in Libya lost their lives this week. What is said is indeed very powerful. Trying to hold that in some way gently as I write for tomorrow.

      Thanks for pointing out that dynamic between Peter and Jesus Martha - have been so busy thinking about losing one's life to save it, that hadn't been so clearly in view.

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    3. Adding prayers for you, Jemma, as you hold so much in your hands and before the Word.

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    4. Hey Jemma -Prayers for you and thanks for lettting us know - the news here is not so world-focussed... And, I would really love that gingergbread recipe if you're sharing :)

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    5. Jemma, prayers for you and your community.

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    6. Thank you for your prayers friends.

      The gingerbread recipe is very easy and delicious and found here I used dark brown sugar as it is what I had, and it turned out very well.

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  3. Celebrating daughters 14th birthday today. Will be back sermonising later. Chocolate bean cake for breakfast anyone?

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    1. Um. Could you tell us what chocolate bean cake is? :-)
      Regardless, Happy Birthday to 14yo!

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    2. Cake? I'm in! Happy Birthday at your house!

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    3. Chocolate bean cakes that I know have some sort of bean smushed in them - black beans, garbanzo beans, something. Adds protein and in many recipes can make them gluten free.

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    4. Haha -nothing so healthy She Rev. Just yummy chocolate cake topped with smarties. Delicious.

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  4. It's just starting to get light here on the far East Coast of the U.S. Really, we ought to be in the Atlantic time zone. The little chimes of Words With Friends woke me way before the alarm (darn me for forgetting to turn off the sound on my iPhone!), and I'm trying to make use of the time before a ridiculously over-scheduled Saturday. We're reading James *and* Mark, with a ladling of Psalm 19's honey over the whole thing. My initial direction is to talk about the words that come out of our mouths hastily (Peter!), but I'm not really sure where I'm headed with that idea except that I'll probably end with the closing of Psalm 19 as a prayer for all of us. In this week when words have been so inflammatory, it feels important to turn our words over to God.

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    1. It does seem that the James scripture is appropriate for all that has happened this week and with the election. I am not sure if I am going there for Sunday morning though I did use this scripture for my blog.

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    2. Words in my town have been ugly for the last couple of weeks, months, do I even have to say year? Thinking about writing a little thing for the newspaper religion column about it all, but I haven't been preaching James. I might need to do my own little work with it just for that purpose.

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  5. It's the middle of the night here and I'm stewing over a conversation I wish I hadn't had. But in the middle of that stewing an idea came to me. The memory of the triptychs my friend used to paint and how it felt to stand before them. I'm seeing a triptych--on one panel Father Miguel Hildalgo,Father of Mexico; on the second panel Isaiah; on the third panel Jesus with his head turned toward Jerusalem and the Cross. In the foreground of each panel are the people whose cries stirred Hildalgo, Isaiah and Jesus to action. We stand before the triptych the cries of our day surrounding us. Looking at those cries. Playing with the choices before us--as individuals, as a worshipping community, as a church.

    MY QUESTION TO YOU, SISTER PARTIERS, IS "DOES IT SOUND TOO CUMBERSOME TO PREACH?"

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    1. I think it doesn't sound too cumbersome, maybe some pictures if you have them will help some people. Hope it goes well.

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    2. Not at ALL too cumbersome. I think it's beautiful.

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  6. I too am glad of the community that exists here.

    finishing a little earlier tonight, printing before 10.00pm WooHoo!!!

    tomorrow about one third of the congregation will be visitors from the Order of the Eastern Star. I don't know about their church backgrounds, except for the person who is part of the congregation. hopefully what I am saying is not too churchy.

    preaching on Psalm 19 and Jeremiah, the heavens are telling the glory of God

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  7. morning here. I have a partially new, partially recycled sermon on James. I feel very dry lately. I also have a wedding this afternoon.

    trying to figure out how to get my sermon-writing, creative mojo back. I'm preaching on James because I thought -- there's so much material for that (which is there is).

    anyway, hope to be back later.

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    1. I get the dry times, too. Hate them. No one way to bring the life back, so I'll lift you in prayer today.

      I've got a wedding this afternoon, too.

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  8. Good morning all! I am off to a day of Ignatian spirituality with Elizabeth Dreyer of Fairfield University, who is teaching us about the Incarnation therein, so my sermon is pretty much finished. It's a "death is not the end of the story" sermon, as I found myself earlier in the week focused on the fact that Jesus proclaims that he will "rise again," a verb phrase entirely missed by the outraged and anxious Peter. So often the case with me, at least.

    Have a great day!

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    1. Sounds like it has been a wonderful event and what an opportunity to have those events relatively close by.

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    2. that sounds wonderful, Robin!

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    3. Wonderful plans for the day and the sermon! Peace to you!

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  9. Morning all. Headed down the Mark path with maybe a dash of Psalm 19. Am hoping to be done by noon so I can have a bit of time to just play and relax. Some weeks I am not sure where those hours and minutes go.

    Sermon Title is "On the Way"...if we fall in step with Jesus that commits us to being "On the Way" as well...to Jerusalem...and what might that hold for us today.

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  10. On Monday my letter to the congregation went out telling them my sense that my call here is ending. I am not leaving for greener pastures. While I am reasonably confident I will be serving another church soon, I don't yet know where. All week I have heard from members their fear that my leaving will be the death of the church. My prayer is that it is a path to new life. The church has life and death decisions they must act on. After we meet with a real estate agent and the family of a member in hospice need to get a sermon that hold the promise of hope in the paradox of the cross

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    1. Blessings as you lead this transition in a time of anxiety for them. Your letter was beautiful.

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    2. Blessings and prayers for you, Celeste, and for the community.

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  11. tomorrow, last Sunday with very endearing St Curious Two, going off lectionary, which I almost never do, to preach from a phrase in the liturgy--"confirm and strengthen you in all goodness"...

    acknowledging that just now and then even if by accident, we do good. and well.

    and feeling that maybe I have preached enuf snarly sermons for one lifetime.

    I will be making it up in my head today becuz typing is a chore and handwriting is not possible (cast on broken thumb).

    Meantime, Messy Church; but first, we're going to have ADVENTURES WITH SHAMPOO. wish me luck!

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    1. amen....

      thanks for the wisdom, "just now and then and even if by accident, we do good. and well"

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    2. Luck!!!

      Sorry about your thumb!

      And I agree with Diane. The wisdom in that phrase is boundless.

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    3. You get to do Messy Church??? I am downright....wishful we had it!!!

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  12. Thanks for the support, sisters. The Eucharist was LONG (3 hours) but well organised and more uplifting than expected. Everything from Eucharist, to renewal of baptism and ordination vows to blessing of oils! Round about 5 000 Anglicans there which meant a very hot auditorium despite the air conditioning. What was good was meeting the Bishop of a neighbouring diocese whom I haven't seen for 6 years and who is partially responsible for me having taken the final steps to ordination. It was good seeing him as he is a loving, pastoral person and even though he didn't know what I was feeling, I felt better just chatting to him. Now collapsed on my bed, so things should improve!
    I hope all your sermons are going well. Nothing to offer for sustenance I'm afraid as I forgot even to have lunch. . .

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    1. I'm glad you found some peace in your day!

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    2. LIKE! I find often that denominational gatherings are refreshing...... sometimes not, but most often are. Glad it is so far for you.

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  13. My husband and kids let me sleep in a tad, so I'm coming to a party that's already rocking pretty early. I guess it really is fall (at least on the upper hemisphere), and things really are back in the swing. Not many vacations!

    My older two kids are off to an "xplorchestra" concert that a chamber orchestra in the Cities does each year. They put together a little play that helps teach kids about the instruments and periods of classical music. Very cute. One year the woman who is taking them invited me and the oldest along with her and her granddaughter. I haven't been included since. :) She usually just takes my daughter and whichever of her granddaughters isn't too busy to go. Sadly for her this year both her granddaughters were too busy (one canceling last night) so she asked if my son wanted to go, too. She's taking our kids to the concert than to lunch at their favorite Chinese restaurant. Glad they can be grandkids to her when she's feeling a bit sad about her own. Glad she can be grandma (or Yin-Yin as they call her in her native Chinese) to them when they don't have any who live close. THIS IS CHURCH!

    I've got a very easy wedding this afternoon, then need to spend some time redecorating the decorations we have up for our first few weeks in the Narrative Lectionary. There's also a youth group staying in our building tonight from across the Cities, so I need to figure out how to turn off the 24 hour security light. I've tried to sleep with it on and it's not easy. I think I'm just going to unscrew the lightbulbs because I looked in the electrical room for the right circuit to switch off. Couldn't find it and neither could the Property Committee guru.

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    1. Isn't it great when Yin-Yin offers to take the kids and not expect you to attend either. What a great gift for everyone!

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    2. So great!!! They had all 3 of my kids last Saturday 8 am - 5 p.m. and then fed our family and 15 others dinner on top of that. Love. these. people.

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  14. Good morning preachers!

    Just back from a run and quickly eating yogurt and cereal before showering and going off to meet with my wardens.

    I think I'm preaching on James and the vocation of teachers and the importance of weighing our words as we teach--because we are all teachers in one way or another. All this came to me Wednesday at our midweek service...we'll see if it actually gels when i start writing.

    It is a beautiful fall day here...just gorgeous!

    Back later; happy sermonizing!

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    1. I'm battling a gorgeous day, too! We have friends who are building a big tree house for their kids. I'm just praying that they are working on it today so that we can offer to come help and get outside!

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  15. Morning everyone! I did sleep in because I had a late night. It's desolate enough out here that when my 16yo drives home from an away game (and they are really far away!), I want to make sure he gets home safely.

    But, spouse made a wonderful breakfast and I'm getting ready to do some harvesting - apples and then whatever may be ready in the bit of garden we didn't have the heart to dig up this week. To do today: applesauce, freeze apple slices for pies, hot pepper sauce and chocolate covered mint leaves. Oh the joys of 'putting up' for winter!

    On the work side of things, it's week 3 of James. I have sort of a sermon outline. I think I'm going to talk about how mean our society's speech is, how 'funny' has become so mean and what that hurt does. And about the choice to choose 'death talk' or 'life talk'. The one thing I keep thinking when I read the James passage is the old scold when someone talks filthy- "do you kiss your mother with that mouth!"

    It's our Rally Day, and while I didn't get some things accomplished - assigning parts to children to lead worship - we're pretty much ready to go. I do need to call a few parents - my SS coordinator resigned and we don't have the replacement board set up yet, so it falls to pastor to get things going!

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    1. Blessings on you as you prepare in so many different ways!!!

      Chocolate covered mint leaves? Yum! Sounds perfect for putting in a mug of hot chocolate.

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    3. Oh, I want some chocolate mint leaves

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  16. Let me get this in the right spot. Sermon is done but longer than I usually preach. On The Way

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  17. Hi all -loving checking in on your busy days. With couch cushion covers in the wash and a good bike ride under my belt, I'm ready to turn my thoughts to the sermon. Im going with Lady Wisdom and the gospel and how we choose what we say. On my mind:
    -election ads
    -an offensive video that leads to riots and deaths
    -another movie I saw this week about a young man's search for meaning
    -a story I just read in This Week (do you gals get that btw? Love it so much!) about a note that floated out a window from the 84th floor on 9/11.
    -times when Wisdom shouts from the gates, streets, corners, roorftops and times when the good news is kept quiet.
    Not sure what of those are going to make it in or how it's all going to come together but looking forward to spending the day with ya'll DIYing. Thanks for the great image, Sherev. Wonderful and so true!

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  18. Just dropping in for a moment to say HI! I have already had a baptismal rehearsal for tomorrow, set up the church for the "sermon-skit" and made the agenda for tomorrow's altar guild meeting. No sermon for me. The kids are doing a skit at 10am (I wrote it a couple of weeks ago) on our "blessings in a backpack" ministry to feed under nourished kids over the weekend by sending them home with a backpack full of food. So, the kids will sing, talk, and get the congregation thinking about this ministry. At 8am I will just summarize the 10am. It's also our "dress up" Sunday. After a

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  19. ACK! Keyboard Ipad bloogger issues. Anyway, after a summer of "come a you are" we aren now going back to wearing "robe" and vestment - "Dress Up Sunday!"

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    1. I can't use the iPad for any blogger comments anymore. Way too frustrating.

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  20. Working on James and some tongue taming. I previously served in a church that really needed this one.
    BUT this church really does not. However, I read in my comentary about how easy (and wrong) it would be to try and fit a verse to a certain situation.
    But, I am not there and I am here and the word must be preached...but oh, how a little tongue taming could help
    a church. My tongue may need some taming.
    Coffee anyone? Bananas and cereal

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  21. Off the wagon for a while. I really should try to line up my preaching engagements with my workingpreacher.com posts so I can actually use them. Basking in the glow of my drag queen based interpretation of the Syro-Phoenician woman last Wednesday at chapel. I had no idea how it would go over and worked harder on it than most. Blessings to you all. I don't think I'm preaching until November as I am teaching on the Dead Sea Scroll which are in town for the next few weeks at a variety of churches here. Salaam, shalom, shanti.

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  22. I'm back at it this week, but my supply gigs have slowed down, too, Wil. This is my only preaching this month, and I think I was needing a break. We have lots of other things going on and causing stress.

    Anyway, I'm preaching on the James passage, to a congregation that is...ah...not very lively. I haven't decided where I'm going with it yet.

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  23. Hi, everybody!

    While I am on Narrative Lectionary rather than RCL, I check in each week to see what's going on.

    Have lots to do here. Last night was homecoming (BIG deal in a small town), with 5th grade son having sleepover. Two additional 5th graders STILL here, so it's LOUD and busy! Going to have to head to the church to work, I think.

    Anyone else on Narrative Lectionary today?

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    1. I'm on the Narrative Lectionary all year. I loved it last week, and I'm looking forward to the year!!!

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  24. And besides all that, I'm too COLD to write a sermon. It's "cold" (75ish) and rainy here today. All I want to do is snuggle up and take a nap.

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  25. We're in the last hour of my "face time" day, the final lap of Confirmation class. The students are working on an art project. I still have only a shred of a sermon, which is not my ideal for this hour on a Saturday afternoon. I'll be back to see y'all when I get home!

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  26. Outline in brief (mother-in-law in town and our non-napping 2 year old has made sermonizing rough this week).
    -The power and privilege we have and the responsibility we have alongside
    -The importance of choosing our words with caution b/c people are apt to trust our truth (as folks eg teachers, with authority)
    -The Jewish fable in which a rabbi has a notorious, troublemaking, gossip put a feather on every door step in town. Then he asks her to gather them up. When she protests that this is an impossible task as the wind has blown them all about, he informs her that her gossip has the same tendency--she has lost control of her words and cannot take them back once she has caused harm by saying them.
    -Do the words we say, do they destroy or do they create? Do they affirm our humanity or denigrate our friends and enemies?
    -Who do you say that I am? Called to speak truth from our own encounters with Christ, Peter wants J to hide the truth--but Jesus calls us to authenticity
    -speaking as our authentic selves, a fig tree must yield figs--we are called to produce the fruit that God intended in our creation.
    -What we say, the fruit we produce, should reflect God's vision for creation.
    -Facebook, other media, even the phone--we, like Peter, speak too hastily. It's too easy to hit "enter".
    -The criteria for speech "true, kind and necessary"--what would it mean to only speak things that fall into these criteria, to only spread these things.
    -Is that when the cursed tongue becomes the blessed tongue?
    -Gospel as GOOD NEWS, we are actually called to speak/to teach/to live out the good news. What if the good news was like those feathers...if the Word we hear in this place was repeated again and again in all we confess and all we give witness to? These would be words that would transform.

    Sorry for the outline novella...extrovert here! As to the table...I have brown rice, loads o veggies and some tempeh to offer...

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    1. Love the rabbi story - I had heard it once before and forgot it!

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    2. good stuff - we are going in similar directions. wonder if I saw your note on good, kind, necessary earlier this week? I'll go check lectionary leanings. that phrase has been rattling around in my head too.

      Ok, I have really been playing the "if it's housework, it must not be procrastination" game and now a nice family has taken the 10 year old off for 3 hours and I'm planning to get 'er done during that time.

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    3. Oh tempeh.... (In two years living here, I haven't ever found any, and this vegetarian misses it!)

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  27. Going off lectionary for a sermon series on words suggested by the congregation. Preaching on fear using 1 John 4:13-21...perfect love casts out fear.

    Editing away and trying to stay focused after a 12 hour Presbytery meeting day yesterday...

    Fall has hit Texas, so I've got some coffee and pumpkin bread to share!

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  28. I'm rambling my way through the James sermon. A bunch of words that don't seem to be going anywhere.

    I realized I had not checked in here since you were all praying for our daughter's foot surgery. She came through it fairly well, though with some pain. She has a thigh-high purple cast for six weeks and then will get a smaller, walking cast for 2-3 weeks. She is coping amazingly well during the day (scooting, crawling, rolling, climbing) but having trouble sleeping well at night. Thank you for your prayers, and keep them up.

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  29. good afternoon, all. It is a beautiful day in Northern California. I have lurked here for years, never posted...but I feel moved to say today how much reading here has supported me. I am in a place now to be able to participate, thank you, God! Thank you all!

    I will preach on Mark...something about the old wisdom that the ones we love the most receive both the very best of us and the very worst of us. So if Peter and Jesus can go at it hanmer and tong AND stay in relationship, well, perhaps there is something here for us as well.

    I've got to get cracking...wedding up the road in Sonoma at 6!

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    1. HI Stacy - good to meet you and glad you de-lurked for today :)

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    2. Stacey, it's great to be sharing this part of blogosphere with you. Miss you and our occasional conversations on my way to or from Sonoma.

      Rev Gals--Stacey is one good blogger. RevRows rocks.

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    3. Hi Stacy - Welcome! I was a long time lurker. Rev Gals and the 11th hour preacher party kept me sane and knowing that ministry was not a DIY job for many years before I surfaced.

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    4. Hi Stacey! So glad you delurked today! (I love that new word.) Thanks for being a blessing to us with your words of support to what goes on here. I hope you continue to join in however you would like to.

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  30. 10 cups of chunky cinnamon applesauce, enough frozen apples for 5 pies, and 2 quarts of hot sauce later - it never ceases to amaze me how good it feels when all the chopping and processing is done and you have food for your family for the winter put by. Not that we rely on what I put up each fall - but the summery goodness on a cold winter day is wonderful!

    Last batch of hot sauce is cooking, so I guess it's time to get cooking on my sermon! ;)

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  31. Just came back from the park with my four year old. For some reason may all too common refrain "I give up" is running around. For a better spin on it, I'm thinking about the "guess what games" kids play. Peter guessed the right name and should have given up. Following Jesus is about giving up ourselves. That's as far as I got.

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  32. Random thoughts while reading Introduction to Wisdom Literature in the New Interpreter's Bible: Although I know that "Mesopotamian Job" and "Babylonian Job" refer to similar books from other cultures, every time I read them I picture a group of guys sitting around talking about some 300 BCE heist. "I didnt know if we'd pull of the Babylonian Job, but by golly we did..."

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  33. Hey gals and pals. Just stopping in for a quick hello. I am single momming it this weekend (hubs is out of town doing a baby dedication for his great-nephew), and I am feeling very guilty that I have spent most of this gorgeous day locked in my study while my kiddos keep themselves occupied in front of screens. I tried, tried, TRIED to get the sermon done before today, but it was to no avail. It would be lovely if I could finish it in time to at least spend the evening with them.

    We are off lectionary all fall (12 Sundays) preaching on various aspects of our life together as church. Tomorrow is #2 in the series, and it's on praise. Pretty broad topic!! My sermon is already longer than usual, and I've still got a lot more in my head. Bah! Not sure how to make this work.

    It's good to break out of my usual sermon-writing routine (i.e., lectionary-based), but I am definitely finding this a challenge!

    I don't have much to share that's fun, food wise, but I did just order a pizza! So come on over!

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  34. My preaching assignment is over and done (homilizing at the church women's luncheon today), but I thought I'd stop by the party anyway and cheer on y'all who are still pulling the pieces together. May the Spirit guide you to the very words that your people need to hear this week.

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  35. It's done and it's not even 6:00 pm here in the high desert. That sermon came out like a bull in a greased shoot. Here is my little triptych

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  36. When I got back from Confirmation and all the other things that this day held, I crashed and slept. So I'm adapting the sustainable sermon from six years ago. The opening has to go, as does a reference to a song we won't be singing, but I think I can bend it into a new shape. It is simply the truth that I do this better than I did it then, when I do it, but I can't do it tonight.

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    1. Sounds like Wisdom at work... Hope the new shape feels preachable soon

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    2. Sleeping is very, very good. As is knowing what you can't do. Blessings, and may it come together quickly.

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    3. I wrote a new beginning, and the shaving/reshaping process is going pretty well. That nap was, for once, well-played. Thanks for the encouragement!

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    4. Hugs to you, and Hugs to 6-years-ago you, too, who had something good to say, even if it was not exactly as you'd say it now.

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  37. You ever get to the point where, although you have pretty much everything written, and there's just one point you need to re-write, you have absolutely no motivation to sit down and finish it?

    That's where I am. Even though I know that if I just knock the last paragraph out, I can have the rest of the evening free.

    I just don't want to do it.

    I want a nap!

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    1. I usually leave those til Sunday morning, I'm afraid.....

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  38. Hello revgals, Lots going on here and SOOO many good ideas for messages. I'm done (finished a draft last night and just did the edit) but am not posting till tomorrow. It doesn't sound 1/2 as good as many of yours.
    Ramona, I have had several days of no motivation. Dunno how I got anything done last night. We had 'shred for bread' today (Shredding truck) and lots of stuff on my calendar tomorrow, so I'm going to read the Maise Dobbs book I check out thanks to Martha's mention. (THANKS!)

    best to all the late nighters tonight. I hope to have time to read some sermons tomorrow. I do like to get 'my church' in thanks to your sermons.

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  39. Any ideas for the kids time...preaching Mark.

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    1. Adapting mine from MInister's Annual Manual, which I dont use every week by any means, but this week's will work well for our group. Here it is very shortened. Let me know if you need/want more detail.

      -Play "who am I?" give a few clues re someone in the congregation the children will know and invite them to guess the identity.
      Jesus asked "who am I" today - how would you describe Jesus to someone else?
      Paraphrase Peter's response in in v. 29 - Jesus was sent from God to tell everyone of God's love in a special way.

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  40. Home from church and thinking about lunch. this morning there was twice the attendance of 2 weeks ago, courtesy of visitors [30-40] from Order of the Eastern Star. A few told me the church they normally worship at [Baptist, Uniting, Anglican], and given the singing volume, most either new the hymns or had a go, which was great.

    no one threw anything at me, at the mention of the riots in the Middle East, and Sydney - or maybe not many were listening at that point :)

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    1. Hi there Pearl - just read your lovely sermon. thank you. Now I am planning to weave Psalm 19 into the openeing prayer - would not have thought of it before.

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  41. Lack of motivation or not, I'm finished. It's posted here.

    Now for a bit of down time.

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    1. Ramona, thanks. There is a person at our day shelter who is called "Sponge Bob". Last year some punks beat him up and he got a traumatic brain injury. Now he goes by "Robert". He's living into a new life. Thanks for the reminder about the power of words.

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  42. I've got a 500 page outline - hoping the rest of this will be like your greased bull Rev Alli (goodness, what a picture!). Just came home with 5 Guys burgers which will either send me into a deep caloric sleep or will give me the energy needed to complete this sucker.

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  43. yikes - 500 WORD outline. not 500 PAGE. But you knew that, right?

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  44. Oh that greased bull on the loose!

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  45. Here's my problem, though. I'm working so hard because I'm trying to talk briefly about the video-that-led-to-riots situaion and the more I learn/read about it the more I realize how much I dont know. Maybe I'll just say that....

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    1. That's pretty much what I'm saying. It's very confusing, and it doesn't sound like we're even close to knowing who made it and who posted it and for what purpose. Here's the line I'm going with:
      The unfolding story about a YouTube video as the precipitating factor in violence toward Americans across the Middle East has reached no comprehensible conclusion, but that hasn’t stopped people from giving their opinions and condemning one another for doing so.

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    2. So glad you two are tackling this. Look forward to reading your words.

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    3. Jennifer Juniper - 5 guys burgers - you're making me long for another trip!!!

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  46. Going to print now! Sorry I wasn't posting much today...writing goes better if I stay home where there is no Internet. But now I'm finished and posting via phone to say WHEW!

    Blessings on all pondering, preaching, and proclamation today and tomorrow.

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  47. Hello friends!
    I have 90% of a sermon on James, Mark, free speech, and not sure what the other 10% will be.
    I'm guessing James would be critical of Jesus rebuking Peter. Truth is, I just don't like James. He seems too idealized. In a perfect world, we could always say nice things. But sometimes we have to rebuke people. We have to say difficult things to people who use words to wound. If we don't use our voices, who will? But I'm sure James wouldn't really be opposed to this.
    Will sleep on it. Surely it will come to me in the night.

    Prayers to all of you.

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  48. Yikes! I was gone longer than I intended. Things got off track a little bit in the middle of the day when I got home from eating lunch out with just enough time to change my clothes and get to the church to put the wedding together (meaning pick an old wedding sermon since the couple cared only enough to ask for anything BUT 1 Cor 13 and could we keep the whole thing to 15-20 minutes) - - I digress.

    I came home with just enough time to get changed and get there a good 90 minutes early, but then my neighbors needed me to mercy-kill an injured squirrel on their lawn, my older kids came home unexpectedly early, but there was no adult to watch them, and then I left my church key at home so I was wandering around locked out of the building when I finally got there. Needless to say, time to check into the party was gone.

    Anyway, I'm home now, football has been watched. I'm keeping the later games off for now. It's time to start a sermon, I think.

    semfem, done? Good for you!!! So, when you fall asleep in a chair and do your writing that way, you're not at home? I always imagined a chair in your house. Who knew.

    So, I'm here for the late night portion of the party. I'll be around for 2 hours before I hit the hay!

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  49. well, friends, enough is enough, I'm winging it in the morning. "confirm and strengthen you in all goodness" --go with the goodness you perceive and trust God to clue you in further as needed because it's no use doing any of the things we love to do if we're not all living as "demonstration models" of what the Gospel is about --every man-jack and woman-jill of us. A moratorium on the repenting thing (story goes in here), because we're called to be pruned, not ROTO-TILLED and/or napalmed every Sunday morning.
    Go with the good you grasp, and remember that if it shows results 40% of the time that's Hall of Fame performance...but be sure that no such action/gesture/word/intention is EVER. EVER. EVER. wasted.

    and I love you. And don't forget to be awesome. You already know how.
    Going to watch some desultory TV and then lay out the GARB for the morning, and turn in.

    HS has our backs, go forward in good heart.

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  50. OK. Back at it! (4:30am here) The birthday celebrations (a trip to the theatre to see Sister Act) took it out of me, so I went to bed and now I'm up and writing. Focussing on The Christ. Asking so who do we say Jesus is and what are we going to do about it. Hope it comes together quickly - glad I made a start midweek - and then I can have a nap before delivery.

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    1. Good morning! I'm still up for another hour. Blessings on you as you finish up.

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    2. thanks, She Rev - it seems to be going well. Only problem is when I'm up at this hour I get "the munchies". May have to go and find some cereal or something to fix that!

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    3. I heard rumors that you could be heard singing along in the theater! Sounds like great fun!

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  51. Phew! I have sermon! I've got to look it over again in the morning before I post it, but it's a complete piece of work. Such a relief!
    Blessings to those who are still writing. May you reach the end soon. Good night!

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  52. I'm trying something a little different tonight. I'm sort of tired of telling stories about myself as illustrations, not even illustrations where I'm the "hero", but just illustrations in general. But even though I'm tired of it, I've got one to use for tomorrow. I've changed some details around and written it up in the third person. It's kind of fun! I remember one week when I was looking for a story/illustration that fit my point. Someone around here or on the RevGals FB page encouraged me to stop looking for some illustration out there and just write a story as an illustration. It's OK to tell true stories that aren't factual stories. That's how this started, but as I started writing the story, I realized it was something that happened to me. Anyway, it's sort of fun writing in a slightly different voice than I usually use.

    Just thought I'd share. Also, I'm impressed that I have 450 words at midnight. It's been MONTHS since I have had words at midnight. Hopefully they aren't too many words, though. I've been writing much longer sermons than I like or the people probably need to hear lately. I REALLY want to reign this one in.

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    1. Looking forward to reading your story. Sounds like the process has been fun.

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  53. She rev are you still up? I cant remember when I've wrestled with a sermon like I'm battling this one. Hopefully that means it will be AWESOME right??? Good idea on the story - I"ll have to ponder that one. But right now the problem is not, "not enough," but TOO MUCH.

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    1. I have exactly what you are saying to be true. Often the ones I struggle with the most end up being the ones the Spirit speaks through the clearest. Usually, even words and messages I didn't think I had said. :)

      Peace to you. I'm still up. I said I wasn't, but I am. Not for long. This time I swear. I'll be back in 5 hours, though. No worries.

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    2. Well, I'm two hours behind you, but I gotta hit the sack. I gotta put this thing to bed and see if it makes more sense in the morning. I'll see you in a few hours, friend!

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  54. Here's how I work. I start with a document called "outline" I make an outline and fill it in, and if I'm lucky taht becomes the sermon. If I'm NOT lucky, I hate "outline," so I start a new document called "draft." I may cut and paste a few good things from outline, but basically it's a start over. If I'm lucky, that beocmes the sermon, but sometimes I hate "draft" too so I start a third document called "sermon" which probably includes alot of stuff from "draft" but is basically a new thing. Then, I sometimes start all over again with soemthing called "sermon-final" and that just has to do it, because by then I'm out of time.

    I'm on "sermon" right now and praying that no "sermon-final" is in my future...

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    1. Praying right along with you. May sermon be it!

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    2. On sermon-final :b Finally have a direction that makes sense, thouhg. Had to take out a story I loved but that had nothing to do with what I was talking about..... Blessings on your day!

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  55. Well, with a little time left to nap, here is my offering for today.
    Thanks for the party!

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  56. Anybody up with me? I have been involved in a wee bit of DIY bathroom stuff today too. But it involved a trip to the Blue Store. One item is fixed in hysterical fashion. Anohter thing is still on the to do list. Currently I have no shower head. Don't ask.
    Oh, and I had good practice trying to hold my tongue as this involved a family project with two other mmebers of the family. We had to spend an hour "discovering" something I already knew.
    And now, I am about two thirds through the sermon, but still not close to ending it.
    So, is anyone still with me? I have some citrus pumpkin bread. I did a trial run tonight to see how it did and we are trying to freeze it. Bake sale is in Novemeber and we are checking for longevity of the bread.
    That is my day.

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  57. 1-4 Grace. still here although hoping to nap soon. Well done on taming your tongue today - and wonderful tongue in cheek describing of situation! Are you preaching on James by any chance? :)
    Bread sounds good - can almost smell it across the pond. I hope the last third of the sermon shows up soon.

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  58. I am indeed preaching on James. I decided to do all five weeks of James. Had fun with it since I have not done much work with James in the past. It is a challenge, but in a good way.
    Help your self to the bread. Coffee will brew soon (or maybe you prefer virtual tea?).

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  59. I'm up! I'm up! Really. I'm up!

    I went to bed with more done than usual around here, so I'm hoping this goes sort of quickly. We'll see. I've been pushing it later and later recently, and I'd rather stop that. Makes my husband crankier with the kids, which makes me crankier with my husband, which makes all of us cranky, etc, etc etc. Down with cranky.

    Back at it.

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  60. Good morning.
    Up to find the conclusion.
    Blessings on all of your proclamations!

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  61. Finished with more time than recent weeks. Not bad. I even got it posted! Dare to Ask

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