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Saturday, October 27, 2012

11th Hour Preacher Party: A Bulwark Never Failing Edition

I'm teaching a worship class, and this week we discussed hymns we like and don't like. It was funny how some were on one person's favorites list and another person's "yuck! I hate it!" list. 

"I don't know, Davey."
One "yuck!" that really surprised me was "A Mighty Fortress is Our God." How can you not like the theme song to Davey and Goliath, I asked? 

Many in the classroom nodded, knowingly.

What do you know today, Preachers? Do you have a sermon underway? Are you struggling to find the words? Seeking out a new way to say something to the children? Will you sing Luther's mighty words in celebration of Reformation Sunday?

Whatever lies ahead today, I hope you'll pull a chair up to the virtual table and join us. Think of this group as a fortress built by God, a safe place to gather and work, a bulwark never failing.

As always, the coffee will be fair trade, the half and half will never run dry, and I'll be keep a plate piled with the best flavors from the Holy Donut. (Calorie free to you, if not to me.)

134 comments:

  1. I'll start the party by saying, "See you in the morning!" I have a full day and need to try and squeeze in some sleep first. But party on, overseas preachers and night owl pals!

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  2. It is raining, raining, raining here in Ohio. Hoping all on the East Coast will stay safe with the upcoming hurricane in the next few days. We have already lost power twice tonight and all we have is a rainstorm.

    I love "A Mighty Fortress". It comforts me. Preaching mostly on Hebrews but may sneak in some of the gospel passage. It is too good to ignore. I have much work to do tomorrow (confirmation, stewardship, sermon) also so prayers for all who are sleeping and all who are writing sermons. You are all a blessing to me.

    I would covet prayers for my son who is having having a rough week with his Crohn's and my daughter who has a viral illness that won't go away.

    See you in the morning if the power stays on.

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  3. I haven't partied here when I'm not the host in a while. Lots of different reasons, but the Narrative Lectionary has been one and a Transformation process our congregation has been doing is another. I've been fully booked for a lot of Saturdays.

    I'm still up tonight because the Transformation Team met tonight to figure out how we're going to communicate the results of our second of three monthly retreats to the congregation. We're ending up with what is essentially a dialogue sermon among me and 3 other lay leaders. I set up the biblical scenario, then one of them will comment on the Transformation application for today. We alternate through three moves like this. Trying to get my parts lined out tonight, so that they can prepare their parts. Here's the basic plan. The scripture is 1 Kings 5:1-5; 8:27-30, 41-43

    ME: Ancient world for the Israelites and their context were changing - -
    MEMBER: Our world is DEFINITELY changing (the institutional church was designed to meet the needs and minister to a 1950s world) This video will be shown and worshipers will be able to share outloud who the world has changed in their lifetime.

    ME: A new way to proclaim the presence of the Lord was needed, one that reflected the changes in the world (more permanent people needed more permanent house for God); built the temple out of their strengths
    MEMBER: We aren't looking for God's transforming of our church because our back is against the wall, but because we recognize we can rally around our strengths to live the great commission in this new world. Yet, in all honesty, if we don't witness to the presence of the Lord in new ways, we will die of irrelevance

    ME: And when the temple was built, the prayer Solomon prayed was that foreigners who are not of Israel will hear God's name and know God's presence
    MEMBER: And this is our prayer, that the new "temple" we build, the transforming of our ministries to reach out in a changing world, will help our "foreigners" hear God's name, and experience God's presence in these new ways (share some of our potential objectives for transformed ministry of our church)

    Tomorrow I'm speaking as a part of a preaching panel at at Covenant Network (LGBTQ advocacy group in the PC(USA)) regional conference. Not sure how I got nominated for this as the rest of the panel are people who deal with sexuality and justice concerns in their preaching a LOT. Pastoring in a very diverse congregation on this topic I choose to engage the discussion in different church venues, which is essentially what I'll add to the panel discussion. I'm quite nervous about coming off as a weak person who is scared to say what I believe instead of a preacher who has made a pastoral decision based on my call to this specific community. Being held in prayer would not be a bad thing. :)

    OK. This comment is way too long. Must finish my prep work.

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    1. Praying that the panel will go well, and that you'll find the right words.

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    2. Dialogue sermon sounds great. Blessings on your Sunday.

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    3. Stephanie see you at CovNet!

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    4. Stephanie, your last few sentences reflect exactly how I feel, coming out of a diverse and strongly social justice congregation to pastor a heavily leaning conservative church with many pastoral needs and kittle interest in social justice.

      A denominational official told me last month, "You'd be surprised at what a high percentage of pastors out here feel unable to live out their call." Sounds like you've found a way, challenging as it may be.

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    5. Yea! Celeste, I'm so glad I'll see you! That gave me a much needed boost to get moving this morning!

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    6. I love this, Stephanie. Thank you for sharing it with us.

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    7. Love hearing our RevGals will be together! Carry our strength and prayers with you, Steph.

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    8. Your dialogue sermon is already a gem. Hope you record it and link it to your blog.

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    9. thanks for this. I may use it in a meeting (the video that is) and blessings and prayers for you panel. You will do well, no doubt!

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  4. I'm candidating for a new call this weekend...will spend most of Saturday out at the meet-n-greet, then will preach on Sunday. Because I'm dumb, I didn't remember that 2 weeks ago I preached a REALLY GOOD sermon that would totally have been easy to tweak for Reformation Sunday, so I'm writing a whole new one using Jeremiah 31 and Blind Bartimaeus. I'm not entirely sure yet where this is going, but something about the NRSV's rendering of Bart's request: "teacher, let me see again" will lead, I think, to the idea that the church is to be always reforming. I think I might play with the other people in the story too--who is shushing us as we call out? who are we shushing? what are we willing to cast off to come to jesus? when we see anew, will we follow him or pick up our cloak and go home? etc.

    Mostly, I'm thoroughly anxious and nervous about the whole thing. ayayayay!

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    1. Hope you find the words you need and the preaching goes well.

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    2. Love these ideas for your sermon. Have a great day of candidating! And on Reformation Sunday, no less. Congratulations!

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    3. Exciting (and stressful)...prayers for all that!

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    4. Adding my prayers, too. Let us know how it goes.

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  5. Outloud, Prayers ascend for you day tomorrow and your sermon. I am not preaching this week but am celebrating at the late service. I wish I could celebrate Reformation Sunday with my Lutheran colleagues but I will wear a red jacket just the same.

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  6. No preaching here tomorrow - we are celebrating "Community Sunday" which is a new idea that has come from the Board. We've invited a variety of people to talk about how they are involved in the life of the congregation and how this expresses their faith. The children have made fantastic posters about their favourite things about church and are going to teach us a new song. We're hoping that we end up with worship that falls on the friendly and creative end of the spectrum rather than the chaotic and nervewracking end... By God's grace...

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    1. Jemma, that sounds wonderful. I hope it's a blessed day.

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  7. I have no idea what I am preaching on (but have already been inspired by the comments here this morning). First I have to lead my first management conference for the Board and Session. 20 out of possible 53 coming - which probably is a fair indication of the level of enthusiasm I am expecting. Most of them don't see the need to plan ahead. I will need to be super energetic to inspire a bit of enthusiasm.The temp has dropped significantly here and I am trying to warm up before I head out for the day (and come back to write a sermon - fortunately tomorrow is Shoebox sunday and the kids talk is done by someone else and bringing in the shoeboxes also takes time so probably shorter sermon is OK)
    Off to go make a bacon roll - anyone else fancy one?

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    1. That sounds delicious. I guess I'm a little late for it. The donut shop I'm always talking about does a bacon/cheddar donut, which is basically donut dough around bacon and cheese, then fried. Sound good?

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    2. Sounds fantastic!! But then I am a fan of donuts sweet or savoury - and most things are better in my mind with bacon.

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  8. Fresh strawberries for anyone?

    I'm not feeling like talking to my parish at all at the moment as we had a parish dance last night. Only half the people turned up and of the other half a vast proportion did not pay for their tickets - or handed them back on the day of the dance. They won't pay now. I have struggled for a year now to motivate this parish and don't seem to have got anywhere. I have tried to love and then love and then love some more, but it gets very difficult after a scenario like this one! Add to that one parishioner accusing those recording pledges of underhand dealing as his pledges have not been recorded correctly . . .

    Talking about journeying tomorrow - Bartimaeus followed Jesus "on the way", Jeremiah and the psalm talking about joyous journeying, in Hebrews Christ is with us as he has journeyed there too. All very well, but when I feel as though my journey with the parish is heading for the hills I'm not much motivated myself!

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    1. Thinking about you. Sorry that you have given so much and feel no hope.

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    2. Pat, that's just rotten. I'm so sorry.

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    3. Parish life--makes you understand how Moses must have felt all those years in the wilderness. Glad you're turning to support networks. Hang in there.

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  9. Back in ER with son. Would love your continued prayers for Matt. Hoping that we can find some cessation of pain for him and that I can still do all I need to do at church tomorrow. Oh boy.

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    1. Oh no! Praying for Matt and for you and your community.

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    2. Prayers from here as well.

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    3. Continuing to pray. (((Matt and his mama)))

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    4. Prayers here too for you.

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    5. Home from hospital with some pain relief for Matt. Thank you for the prayers. This is a safe place to share more private prayer requests. I am grateful.

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    6. Glad you're home and they have done something for him.

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  10. On my way to a conference on the other side of the state 3 hour drive. Sermon is 1st person told from the perspective of one of those scolding beggars. I hope it moves to freedom to risk and hope ala David Lose. Gid know this congregation needs to let go of their cloak of fear. I am sitting in mg car waiting for the windshield to defrost. And I am off!

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    1. Drive safely, Celeste, with our prayers.

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  11. The cloak of fear...resides in the congregation I serve as well. I just might use that phrase...thanks!

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  12. I have zero words and will be at Presbytery all day. And it will be a contentious meeting as well.

    I titled the sermon (before I left for a week of study leave): The End of the Road...Sort Of!

    We've been in Mark's travel narrative with many repeating themes...are we done yet, JEsus?

    Jesus' answer: We are just getting started.

    and somewhere there are 1500 words waiting to be discovered.

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    1. Blessings in and on this day, Purple, unexpected blessings.

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  13. Job 3 this week. Using Annie Dillard's passage about crash helmets as the theme. Singing A Mighty Fortress and praying about the Reformation as a sign of both healing and brokenness.

    But first, an all-day Ignatian retreat for spiritual directors. Hoping the end of the sermon comes to me there!.

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  14. I'm on the run - first to grab the last few hurricane supplies. Then to work out. Then I'll be doing tidying up around the yard and in the garage. This afternoon I hope to put the finishing touches on my sermon on health/wealth justice issues. I'm using John 5.

    For the moment, the coffee is still hot and there's cookie butter from Trader Joe's schmeared on whole grain bread. Cookie butter is like crack. Mmmmmmm....

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    1. That stuff is diabolical, if by diabolical, I mean delicious.

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    2. Oh man, the number of times I've picked that up at the store, put it down, picked it up, put it down....Never bought it though. It wouldnt last a day in my house.

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  15. Good morning! I've been trying for an hour to comment from my iPhone. Grr.
    Presently I am fifteen minutes early to the Hoidwill attended donation center, so trying again. Let's see if this works.

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    1. My iPhone does not allow me to comment either. :(

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    2. I wonder if it's a Java thing? Isn't Java one of those things we don't have on iPhones/iPads? I am procrastinating by searching for the answer to this question, but it's really not a good use of my time. ;-)

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  16. Sr. Miriam ElizabethOctober 27, 2012 at 8:57 AM

    I've never posted here before. But here goes. Filling in for a colleague tomorrow with a congregation I do not know. Preaching with Bartimaeus and the sermon is mostly done due to commitments all day today. Here's the gist:
    Underneath all of our fashion, our favorite "cloaks" what are we protecting ourselves from, bandaging, hiding? Are these veils that blind us to who we really are?
    B. knows who Jesus is and with encouragement throws off his cloak, rendering himself vulnerable at the least, dead at the most as the cloak protected him and was his livelihood (catching coins and castoffs).
    J. asks What do you want me to do for you? Asking for B's participation in his own healing -- this is not magic, but a transformation we actively participate in. B asks to Let me see myself and the world with new eyes. Let me live. He gets that deep healing, clear sight into the beauty of who we are is found only in the compassion of God, incarnate in Jesus, the Son of David.
    It takes courage to leave what we know, even when what we're leaving is painful and the promise is new life. It takes courage to lay our cloaks, veils, shrouds at the side of the road and ask for new life.
    It takes courage to ask for not just what will comfort us and alleviate the pain, but what will transform us, what will clear our vision so that we to might follow the One who offers us life.

    Praying for all who preach.

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    1. Welcome!

      I like the encouragement you give for your listeners to have courage.

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    2. "It takes courage to leave what we know--" Wow, is that the truth! It sounds like what you have in mind will preach. So glad you have joined us today.

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    3. Sounds great. There are so many things to say on this passage -- have to hold on to some of them for next time!

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    4. Thank you for your words...personally and for the sermon tomorrow as well.

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    5. I have quoted you in my sermon...with a link to this thread and your name attached. Thank you for sharing your wisdom.

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  17. Yay!
    Now, on more serious notes, prayers for RevKel and Matt, for OutLoudThinker, for Steph and all in motion today.
    Next stop, donuts.

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  18. Preaching on Job this week. I heard a definition of trust this week that has been rolling around in my head every since. Trust is not letting go of fear, but going ahead and taking the risk (of loving, of answering a call, of asking for something) because the benefit (being loved, being fulfilled, receiving what we need) is so much greater. Trust is a step out in faith. And that's where Job is. We don't always get all the answers as to why things happen, but God is there in all of it. I'm illustrating it with a story from my internship--I was new to the congregation, as was my supervising pastor. We lost a beloved congregation member within a month of our arrival there; and then a few months after that, my father passed away. In those experiences, we trusted each other--we took the risks of being open and vulnerable to each other. And we did trust one another--when my internship was done, they begged the "higher-ups" to appoint me their pastor...there was that much trust.

    Also baking cookies and helping the SO with pasta sauce for a cookoff at the church's pasta dinner/dance tonight--and preparing for a Board meeting tomorrow after church.

    I have some pumpkin spice muffins to go with the other goodies.

    And prayers for children, difficult situations and all who have more things to do than hours in the day...

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    1. That's a great illustration. Glad you're here today!

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  19. Today is my last Sunday to be a pew person for awhile. I am starting a new interim ministry next week and am looking forward to that. You all are inspiring me! Thank you!

    I'll have some of those pumpkin spice muffins and will put some homemade applesauce out on the table for you all.

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    1. Leave room for the donuts: Maine apple with cider glaze, and my standby, maple glazed.
      So glad for you and for the church you will be serving!

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    2. Sharon, glad that a new ministry is beginning. Blessings.

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    3. Sharon Excited for you and your next congregation! Looking forward to hearing more.Blessings friend!

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  20. I'm finally at a computer, which hopefully means I won't be auto-corrected from "Goodwill" to "Hoidwill." Ahem.
    My project for this morning is to edit a video interview of two church members, part of our Stewardship campaign. Because of the challenging timing of Stewardship mailings right after my resignation, I've got a campaign focused on the congregation and how they work together. The interviewees are a much-loved, salt of the earth couple in their early 70s. We had planned to interview them in church (somewhat scripted) but she is getting chemo and her availability is dependent on how she feels at any given hour. Using video for a message is new for us, and there are technological challenges. This will be very, very simple. I've put video together before with a Confirmation class, but never for worship.
    In between I'm prepping for Monday's lecture (Intro to Worship) and making a run to the dump/recycling center. The house will hopefully be on the market by the next Preacher Party. Still a lot to do and nowhere near enough hours in the day.

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    1. The first time, I read that as "auto-careened" which is (to me) how that often feels!

      You are so techno-savvy and that sounds like a great way to talk about stewardship.

      There came the day when I just had to leave the house as it was, and go. It was cleaned up very nicely, but not nearly as de-junked as I had hoped. I get another chance later when the house sells and the stuff has to finally be dealt with, one way or the other.

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  21. Reformation Sunday for me. A few weeks ago, I took David Lose's suggestion about having the congregation write down questions. What great sermon fodder! I got a bunch of question dealing with sin - knowing if you've confessed everything, what happens if you confess and the sin still bothers you, etc. Sounds a lot like Martin Luther's questioning to me!

    So I'm tackling the congregations questions about sin and forgiveness using the Romans 3:19-28 text. I might sneak in Jeremiah and the Gospel as well. I've got sort of an outline, but I've learned not to be too confident of my outline!

    There's a council meeting this evening and then a surprise birthday party/fish fry for a parishioner. Here's hoping that everything comes together by about 4!

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    1. Hi, ramona! Let us know how the question sermon goes.

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    2. Ooh that sounds AWESOME Ramona. I did the question thing too in September, but I didn't get any about sin. How great that they fit in perfectly with Reformation!

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    3. We did a whole summer on people's questions....but in about 20 requests, not one about sin. super interesting what's on people's minds! Love that you can tie it in to reformation!!

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  22. There's a great resource share going on at our Facebook group re: Veterans Day. If you aren't a member already, join by clicking here.
    I've done laundry, put more stuff in the car and -- ahem -- conversed on Facebook about Veterans Day, but the video is not done. So that's next. Fresh pot of coffee, anyone?

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  23. Trying to rock with Reformation here. I'm taking my girls to the Halloween event at our local museum this afternoon, so costume changes are keeping me from serious sermon work. (3 yr old wanted to be Minnie Mouse, then Princess, and now currently wants to be a cowgirl!)
    Trying to keep the sermon from just being a rehashing of history...scripture is a Living Word, it continues to transform and reform us...something like that!

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    1. Aw, cute. She's reforming and transforming, too. :-)

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    2. Minnie Mouse as a Princess Cowgirl?

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    3. The mask thing just might morph into a children's sermon for me.

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  24. Good morning preaches! Lots going on here already!

    I'm doing the third of four stewardship sermons tomorrow and not particularly looking forward to. Also kind of expect a small crowd with the looming storm.

    And I'm trying to decide how worried I should be abou the storm...I'm on the NE side of the projected land fall and I'm sure there will be lots of rain and wind. And I expect we'll lose our power...ugh, went through that twice last year. My daughter wants me to come to VT but I have a lot of stuff scheduled this week and I just don't know at this point if it will be bad enough to cancel everything.

    But not I need to go take a post run shower and get to writing. Back in a bit.

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    1. Welcome, RDM! I'm watching two versions of storm news, for Maine and Pennsylvania. Sounds like it won't be so bad here in the end, but it's still smart to be prepared for a power outage.

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  25. After working my fingers basically to the nub, I've decided to go to the dump, then have lunch, then come back and collapse for a little while. All of which is to say I've done great work on the house, but not on the video message, so it's turning out to be just.like.a.sermon.

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  26. Well, it's written. Now to let it marinate while I bake cookies for coffee hour/board meeting tomorrow. Molasses cookies, on the way!

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  27. Enjoying a break from pulpit supply this week. I 'x'-ed out this Sunday long ago, because we were at a family retreat this week for clergy couples (good, but not enough sleep for any of us). I am skipping a Presbytery meeting as we speak, which was 6 hours away. (Yes, it's a honking big Presbytery).

    Prayers for all of you working to bring the Word and carry your own burdens at the same time.

    I'll be listening to hubby's Revelation tomorrow.

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    1. I mean I'll be listening to hubby's Revelation sermon series tomorrow. Ha!

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    2. Six hours! I'm bagging out of an Association meeting that's forty minutes from church tomorrow. Good for you.

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  28. At last. Ready to grapple with Jeremiah and Dia de los Muertos. Weeping and Consolations. Perhaps a cure to cheap grace. Thinking of the young mother finding her children dead in the bathtub. Wondering where/if there is a place for them on our ofrenda. Maybe in the weeping. Jumble of thoughts. Time to focus. Help!!!!!

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    1. RevAlli, that's certainly a story for weeping. So sad. Glad you're here with us.

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  29. Hello everyone, a quick hello, in and out as I try to get something on paper soon for my Reformation Sunday sermon. (I have never preached on Bartimaeus--how funny!)

    My parents are here visiting, so I have the new-ish challenge of trying to get a sermon written in order to make time for family...not a usual part of my routine. They are off browsing shops until the coffee shop (where I am) closes in half an hour.

    I'm pondering the simul justus et peccator...the being in-between...as in Jeremiah, God has written his law on our hearts, but we still don't seem to know it yet...and in John, sure the Son has made us free, but we sure seem to still be captive to sin. All that and a story about a dog who doesn't know what to do once he's off his leash. Good times.

    Oh and we are also giving Bibles to third-graders. And I want the children's sermon to involve actually nailing a thesis to a door. Not sure if that's going to happen yet.

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    1. If you nail something to a door, I want to know ALL about it. :-)

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    2. Hmmm...you've given me something to think about! I've talked about the "solas" before, but not simul justus et peccator in a Reformation sermon.
      Sounds like you're going to have a ufn time with the kids!

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    3. The door thing is totally happening. Pray for me.

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  30. Does anyone else struggle to encounter the text with prescribed glasses? I'm asking because I'm preaching Bartimaeus but also have the task of incorporating stewardship. We've been educating about stewardship all month (surprise, surprise)...and this sermon is to help prep folks for the mailing they will receive. I really wrestle with how to be faithful at integrating.

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    1. The Mark texts for this stretch are among the reason I went off-lectionary for Stewardship this year. But if I were using Bartimaeus for this season, I'd be looking at something someone said earlier about the courage it takes to do new things, even if they are things we really want to do. I'm paraphrasing the more eloquent Sr. Miriam Elizabeth.

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  31. We've been Mark's travel narrative since September 16th (with a couple of Sunday's off-lectionary). I am refreshing their memory with a brief synopsis of each 'travel point' and I think I'll do each of those from a different part of the sanctuary and then end up at the communion table for the text for today.

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  32. I have successfully futzed away the afternoon without writing one.single.word. Made sure various batteries were recharged, bought some more batteries, filled the gas tank (did not buy milk, juice,eggs or bread:) At the moment our local forecast is not too dire but I suppose it could change. What I dread most is not sitting out the storm, it's the possibility of being w/o power for days as we were last year.

    The weather channel had this great idea to fill ziploc bags with water and freeze them--if the power goes out they'll keep the freezer cold longer and when they melt you can use the water. Sounds good, right? Until you put it in the freezer and the seal comes undone and a gallon of water goes all over the floor. I guess that was one way to get my floor mopped :(

    Now I MUST write. I skived off a meeting today so I could get my sermon done at a decent hour and I've totally blown that. Preaching on Luke 12:13-21 and being rich towards God for stewardship and I only have the vaguest sense about where I want to go with it.

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    1. Oh, dear. That sounds like something that would happen to me. At least the floor is clean now?

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    2. Sort of clean...cleaner, anyway :)

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  33. Amazingly enough, it's time to go to council and my council notes are ready, the bulletins and newsletter are written and printed, my sermon is mostly done and I even have a good start on the newspaper article that I was supposed to submit yesterday. Thanks be to God!!

    We Get Grace is posted. I would like feedback on the sermon if anyone has time. I'm wondering about the flow - and the ending of course. Thanks in advance.

    Off to council (ugh) and then fish fry (yuum). I'll bring back some fish for everyone!

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  34. I think I've succeeded! I'm just watching the movie again. Fingers crossed...or praying. Whatever works.

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  35. Was supposed to work on my sermon this morning, before funeral (attending, not officiating) but overslept. Wish I would have gone to have a donut instead :) All that talk of bacon is quite enticing.

    Now, having a hard time focussing and dont have a word written. Crabby 10 year old just back from an overnight with a friend. Overnights, man. They ruin the whole weekend.

    Anyway, grateful for the comment on throwing off the cloak, and thinking about Job and what it means to see. Might be back.

    Praying for ya'll in Sandy's path...

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    1. I couldn't agree more about sleepovers. And now for us it's date nights. Last week LP was 15 minutes late because her boyfriend's windshield wouldn't defog. Safety first, sure, but start sooner! I gave her a pass last week, but this week, being late will have consequences; she is forewarned.

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    2. Ok, have a little outline and now heading out to talk about NEXT week's funeral. And Martha - ugh, date night. I shudder to imagine....

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  36. Passing the time by reading my previous sermons and, came across this below, which cracked me up a little. Not sure where it came from, but pretty sure it's a quote from someone else, so attribution appreciated if you know it:

    "Bart. called from the side of the road, and Jes. stood still in all that swirling, whirling crowd and called him over. Bart., the scripture tells us at this point, springs up. (Try "springing up" incidently, from a seated position on a piece of sandy ground while jostled by a semi-hostile crowd with your eyes closed and you’ll see that the springing up was another one of Bart.’s acts of supreme courage). "

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  37. Back from my preaching panel thing. Feel kind of "meh" about my participation, but at least I didn't embarrass myself.

    My husband and I were supposed to be taking our big kids to see a production of "Joseph and the Amazing..." but apparently I never actually bought the tickets to the show. I put it on the calendar and everything, but didn't actually buy them. Ugh.

    So, football and pizza with friends instead!!! Not a bad exchange.

    I have very little to write and most of it is sketched out on legal pads and newsprint so I'll deal with it tonight or tomorrow morning. My brain was engaged a lot of today, so it's not ready to be engaged again yet.

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    1. It was exciting to see your picture on FB!

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    2. So good to be with you Stephanie! Foot ball and pizza... sounds like a great family day. Thanks for your perspective for the CovNet gathering today. For me it was healing to be know there are churches in a different place than where I currently serve.

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    3. Thanks to both of you. It was so reassuring to see you in the room, Celeste. The dynamic of the panel was very awkward for me. I felt ... I don't know, put their for my age and experience level and therefore sort of extraneous. That may have been my own "stuff," but it's the sort of impression I get from "those guys" in my presbytery - looked at different because of the size, location, theological position of my church and my own age, experience, gender on top of it

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  38. Thanks to the inspiration here throughout the day - and the sharing of vulnerability, I now have a sermon. It's a lot different from my usual style, I think, but I'm feeling brave :)
    here it is.
    Now for supper. Lentil broth anyone?
    We enjoy an extra hour tonight - clocks go back.

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    Replies
    1. liz, I am so ready for that extra hour. We have to wait another week.

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  39. I have most of a draft done...and I've gone someplace I didn't really intend to go, not so explicitly anyway, a place that might get me in a whole lot of trouble with some people I have actually named the elephant in the room, the difficulty we have dealing with our endowment (we don't need to pledge b/c we have money in the bank) and I've used a sore piece of church history (resentment over using some of the endowment to help build a homeless shelter) as an example of how we, like the rich man in the text, want to build bigger barns so that we can sit back and "eat, drink, and be merry" rather than use our endowment for real ministry and support our needs to a greater extent with pledges.

    It needs to be said...but I might be crazy for doing it in a sermon.

    I'm a little bit scared. But at this point I don't feel inclined to rewrite, either.

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    Replies
    1. It may be the very thing you were called there to do.

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    2. It sounds like you are on the path you and the congregation need to be on. Blessings and prayers.

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  40. The video is done! Of course there's all the technology piece to finish sorting out in the morning. But the video itself is on our website.
    Having accomplished a ridiculous number of things today...
    I still have to work on Monday's lecture.

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  41. for anyone still working on the Bartimaeus story, a gift for you:

    Helen Keller, when asked if there was anything worse than being blind, said, "the most terrible thing is to be able to see but to have no vision."

    yep.

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  42. Hurricane prep took all day. Now it's watching the Buckeyes whomp on Penn State and I WILL do the final touches on my sermon before bed.

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  43. I am now in possession of a first draft of a sermon for tomorrow...a Candidating sermon, so I need it to be good!! AAAA!!!!!

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  44. Back from the fish fry with my tummy swishy full of fish. About half of one of my congregations was still there when I left. Hope that doesn't deter them from coming to church tomorrow!

    Now to just put a few finishing touches on the order of worship. It feel good to be wrapping up so early!

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  45. Done! I'm off to enjoy some mindless TV before I climb into bed early.

    Good night all! Blessings on your writing, and your preaching, and your day.

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  46. AHHHHHHH.... it's too long. WAY WAY TOO LONG. Getting out the scissors...

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  47. Hmmm... on retreat all day and away from all news, came up with an ending for my sermon -- Job and God in the whirlwind -- deleted the new ending by accident, reconstructed it, and then came here and skimmed through the comments and realized: hurricane.

    I may have to rethink the ending in my dreams. I usually feel ok talking about the mystery and presence of God in a hopeful kind of way because, frankly, God is so often absent to me, but maybe tomorrow will be too close for others for whom it is not such a constant. OTOH, maybe other people are already far more convinced than I am about God's always redeeming presence.

    Oh, I never should have tackled Job.

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  48. Gals and pals, I'm headed to bed. Blessings to all who are still working. God be with you in the preaching and the praying and the leading.

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  49. I have a draft. Not a very good one. Need to step away and hope for insight and wisdom. Turned out to be hard to combine Dia de los Muertos, Psalm 126 and Jeremiah. But even as I write this, I may be seeing a link. Back to the drawing board.

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  50. Done. Laundry changed out. Any hurricane prep we CAN do is finished for the night. Need to drag my tired caboose to bed. I don't preach until the afternoon, about the time I'd want to be taking my Holy Nap if I'd done the morning sermon. So I'll be praying for all of you. :)

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  51. Off to bed. So far out on a limb. Think it will preach to our New Mexican congregation. Hope so. Here it is. A bit weird even to me. Oh well.

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  52. Back from all night football watching with friends. Goodnight, but I'm tired. I have nothing more written than about half of my 900 words I can have that are on a legal pad. But that's actually really good. I'll be up in 5 1/2 hours to make sure it's all done. Now, though, comes sleep.

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