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Saturday, October 20, 2012

11th Hour Preacher Party: Make a Wish, Grant a Wish Edition

This sleepy kitty has had a big day. A big month, really.

A month ago, Ruby was an indoor Pennsylvania cat.  This month, she has become an outdoor-venturing cat exploring a tropical Louisiana back yard.  Her world opened up when she discovered the cat door!

She has staked out her territory in the house, but she hasn't quite made peace with the other two cats in the household. 

Still, she's 15 years old, and she made the 1200 mile journey with grace and spunk. And she always seems to make lots of time for naps!

I'm sure there's something profound or inspirational in that. I wish. 

Adventure. Stability. Progress. Peace.  I wish.

I love the words of Jesus (yet again!) when he told them (James and John? the rest? us?):  

"You don't know what you are asking."  

No kidding!

But you never know until you ask.

So, come right in, all you preachers, and ask boldly!  It's a party, so make a wish!  Thanks for bringing cyber-snacks!  I wish you would let us read your sermon drafts and let us know how we can pray with you today.    

Just ask.    

Welcome, friends!   

134 comments:

  1. Seems I am the first here today! As I indicated on Tuesday, I am going with the persecution of the Anglican church in the Diocese of Harare in Zimbabwe. Power vs the suffering servant. This is to urge my parishioners to pray for the diocese this coming week as their case comes to the Supreme Court.
    I seem to have managed to lose 1kg so I can offer home made biscuits and lovely coffee today . . .

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    1. Praying for the Church in Zimbabwe....we don't get a lot of news about it in the USA at this time, so thank you for the reminder...and congrats on some weight loss - tough thing to do.

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    2. Bishop Chad Gandiya is a friend of our parish ... we pray for him and his family and his diocese every week.

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  2. I'm here - after an afternoon nap that I hoped would reset my brain. I'm wrestling a little with 'gave his life a ransom for many' as I'm part of the kind of congregation that will think omitting any reference to this phrase is interesting and it will be what I'll have to talk about at the door!

    There's some ginger spice cake here - gluten free and vegan and yet delicious!

    And hurray for grace and spunk as modelled by Ruby - I could surely do with more of both to tackle the preaching task!

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    1. Good morning, Jemma! I'd love to sample some of that GF ginger spice cake. I'm making brunch here for the gang to enjoy during the LSU - Texas A&M football game that starts at 11:00 a.m. (CST)

      I have a hard time with the *ransom* reason, too. Do let us know how you are going with that.

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    2. Ched Myers, Tony Jones, David Lose and I finished my sermon! I found Ched Myers 'Binding the Strong Man' commentary helpful as one idea he suggests is that the ransom shifts us from being indentured slaves (bound by obligation and fear) to being able to freely embrace service as the way of liberation.

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  3. It's the wee small hours of the morning here and I'm facing a night of very little sleep, owing to my failure to work ahead combined with a situation that I know is not terribly unusual for you working pastors, but new to me as a very-occasional supply preacher: a funeral came up and shot my schedule all to hell. (I had no responsibility for the funeral, just an attendee, but it was out of town and so took all day.)

    After a blessed time of visiting with the bereaved, followed by getting lost on the way home, which turned a 2-hour drive into closer to 3, I am finally sitting down to wrangle my half-formed thoughts into the homily that I promised to give at a regional churchwomen's gathering tomorrow morning. It crossed my mind that, even though I have to preach a day ahead of most of you, the preacher's party might already be started -- and lo and behold, here you are! It's encouraging to recall that this solitary practice is not so solitary after all. Thanks, and God bless you all as you prepare to speak with grace and truth.

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    1. Hope you find the words you need and that Saturday will also hold some rest.

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    2. As Jemma said, I hope the Spirit gives you the words you need and that you are not too tired to hear her whisper them to you!

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    3. Be good to yourself, I've been doing this for awhile now and funerals still shoot my schedule all to hell - even the close by ones.

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    4. Adding my prayers and care. Sometimes it can be a "little" thing that can throw us off big time, and a funeral is no little thing. So glad you are here!

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    5. Welcome Rachel. Life does tend to mess with our best laid plans. I too am grateful for the Preacher Party and knowing I am not alone with the gift and task of speaking God's sometimes disconcerting word.

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    6. Thanks all for your kind words. My sermon went fine; the hearers were warm and encouraging, and the rest of the event (which, to be perfectly honest, I likely would have skipped if I had not promised to preach!) was really quite lovely. I even got a few hours of sleep.

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  4. tomorrow is Baptism and Confirmation, so no sermon. The person being confirmed is speaking, and I have a series of readings from Mark with responses from an Iona book called Dandelions and Thistles. that combined with communion and remembering the baptism for all the congregation, I think the gospel will be well proclaimed without me needing to preach. I will be speaking briefly at a few points to link the parts of the service together.

    It has been a long week in many ways. it is almost 9.30 pm, Saturday evening, I think ti is together now, just a prayer or two to source, and I can print and go to bed.

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    1. Pearl, sounds like you have a good plan for a fabulous day in the life of the church! rest well!

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    2. Wishing you sweet dreams, Pearl. Always great to see you here!

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  5. Good morning, y'all. We have a shortened service tomorrow as part of our Stewardship drive, with lots of lay participation. I hope it all comes together! And mostly I hope people actually attend, because we're trying an idea a neighboring church has used, to do our fall cleanup right after worship.
    Today I'm going to the Maine UCC's Fall Learning Event to hear Marcus Borg. It's right in my neighborhood, so there's no excuse not to go, but I'm also stressing over the number of things I need to finish as I get the house on the market.
    I'll check back in later. Hope it goes well for all of you today.

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    1. Martha, I totally understand that to-do list about getting the house on the market. Best wishes!

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    2. Oh yes. Clearing rooms to stage. figuring out what to keep, sell , give away or pack up for God alone knows when. Getting the house ready to sell feels like a full time job in a field that is way outside my skill set! Thinking of you both

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  6. I have no idea where I am going this week. I know what I'd like to do...after months of preaching teaching sermons (which people seem to appreciate) I want to move back to my former approach of using story to highlight the point I am making from the scripture.

    I'm contemplating beginning with the recent video of the neuroscientist's study on brain activity when one is praying, meditating, communing with God - the study showed specific brain activity in the neo-cortex. This activity was absent in the brains of atheists who were meditating - the conclusion being that since the neocortex is the place of language and higher thinking, and since it is activated during prayer - then the brain cannot distinguish between when we are talking to a human and when we are talking to God in prayer - there fore as far as our brains are concerned communicating with God is real.

    I am contemplating discussing this study and connecting it to Job sitting in the dung heap and God's response in the whirlwind.

    It may be a stretch. I may also try to tie in the idea of "Can you drink this cup?"...

    right. hopefully it will not be as muddled as it feels right now.

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    1. Not sure if the link will work but here it is
      How Prayer

      "In a video that recently aired on "Through the Wormhole" narrated by Morgan Freeman on the TV channel Science, Dr. Newberg explains that to study the effect of meditation and prayer on the brain, he injects his subjects with a harmless radioactive dye while they are deep in prayer / meditation. The dye migrates to the parts of the brain where the blood flow is the strongest, i.e,. to the most active part of the brain..."

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    2. The link works great and what a fascinating article. I love that you are bringing science and faith mystery together in your sermon. I think that would speak to many people who feel that they have to keep those two apart.

      Lots of possibilities there, Terri!

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  7. Good morning all - Funeral early this afternoon (long drive first, and then some time to tighten up the sermon, so I'll be back later. Last night a young woman who'd read my draft suggested that I include something that I thought already filled the sermon, so I'll have to go back and see what happened there!

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    1. Good morning, Robin! Many blessings as you travel through your day.

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    2. I read that article this morning. It was very interesting.

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  8. So this is kind of where I am going with it, and how I think I can also bring in the Gospel:

    Barbara Brown Taylor: Home By Another Way

    Virginia Woolf once wrote, “I read the Book of Job last night – I don’t think God comes well out of it”…The language of the book is gorgeous – but this speech by God seems to reveal an arrogant bully who reaches down a thumb and crushes Job like a bug …a God who has no more respect than that for human suffering does not deserve the title. In which case…the Satan is right: no one worship God for nothing. …Job sounds anything but crushed when it is all over. “I have spoken of the unspeakable and tried to grasp the infinite” he says to the Lord at the end. “I have heard you with my own ears; but now my eyes have seen you. Therefore I will be quiet, comforted that I am dust…”

    Job saw God face to face and lived to tell the tale.

    If there is an answer to the problem of suffering in Job the it is, that for most of us the worst thing that can happen is not to suffer without reason but to suffer without God – without any hope of consolation or rebirth. All other pain pales next to the pain of divine abandonment (just ask Jesus about that), and what Job wants us to know is that God does not finally abandon us.

    According to Job, we do not have to be polite about it, either. In the end, God prefers Job’s outrage to the piety of his friends. When in pain, we are allowed to yell as loudly as we can. “Why is this happening to me? Answer me!” Devout defiance pleases God and it may even bring God out of hiding…

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    1. Yes! "The pain of divine abandonment" and (good news!) God does not finally abandon us. And "we don't have to be polite about it either" is even better news, at least to those of us who tend to not censor in time, sometimes.

      Thanks!

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  9. Wow Sharon, when you say you think it may be time to go back home, you are NOT kidding. Prayers for the continued transition of both humans and kitties.

    I'm in a lectionary study group and this is the Sunday that I wrote the paper for so I've maybe been just a touch lackadaisical about actually writing up the sermon. Wholeness & Healing is part of the service tomorrow so time will need to be left for that. Our minister for pastoral care is out of town this week so me and the youth/young adult guy are doing it. We figure we'll have the shortest lines ever.

    Coffee and muffins here - mmmmm, cinnamon.....

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  10. Uh oh! Woke up late. Thanks for getting the party going great! I'm going to grab a cup of coffee and go back and read.

    Yep, Kathryn, I did go to Louisiana. I have been creatively unemployed since October 1, but I am being considered by a nearby church for an interim pastorate. I will hear, one way or the other this week. The strong call I feel at this time is to be with my family of origin, at least for a while. My 82 year old mother is looking at some serious surgery in the next month or so that can't be avoided. I also feel the need to reconnect with them and with my Southern roots after 25 years in Ohio and Pennsylvania.

    I'll have some of those muffins, please!

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    1. Morning Sharon! Fabulous that you can be creatively unemployed and reconnect with family. I hope you get the interim call, that will help settle you....

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    2. Sharon, love the term creatively unemployed! I will end my 9 years here in December. This next period feels like sabbatical to us without the expectations to return. Short term is going to the place that will always be home to help my mom with some much needed support. I need some time away from pastoring a church. Looking forward to hearing your reflections on this journey

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    3. Celeste, we are walking together, it seems, along a similar path. I love "without expectations to return" which feels open-ended enough to let the Spirit guide the way, either way. I have thought that I need time away from pastoring a church, yet I have this inexplicable energy for this (possible) ministry setting.

      I also look forward to hearing how it goes for you, Celeste. Prayers and hugs!

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    4. I'm hopeful for both of you.
      I'll be on my own unpaid sabbatical starting in January, hoping to make room to hear what God wants from me next. Glad we'll have a chance to share where we are in person on the BE!

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    5. It's wonderful to hear about you beloved revgals taking such wonderful leaps of faith. S sorry I won't be able to catch up in person at this years BE but grateful for the connection here.

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    6. Holding out for BE7. And Tanya will bring the Scottish flavour to BE6. Already regretting my choices:)

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    7. By now you all have probably hit the sack. Sharon and Celeste I am glad for your time with your mothers. There can be a sweetness to the autumn time with moms. Sharon, I'm hoping that the right call comes. May this time be rich for both of you.

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  11. It all makes absolute and total sense - good on you, and prayers ascending!

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  12. I am excited to say that I am sermonizing once more, though I won't be hanging out with certain of you who are known to be late-night posters. That is because my new "church" gathering, The O.A.S.I.S. meets on Saturday night, so I have to finish up soon.

    Tonight we are finishing up a series on Ezekiel's "Valley of Dry Bones." It has been unexpectedly wonderful to spend time in this strange passage. After the breath comes, and life, God promises them a home. I'm wresting with way to convey how the church should be a home for God's people....how to make that fresh and real...?

    Oh, I'm sharing delicious apple-cranberry cake with caramel glaze. ;-)

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    1. The message "God promises them a home" after the dry bones sounds like very good news to me. Thanks so much, Dorcas! I just know, from recent experience, that there are many ways to be homeless, and that also probably speaks to what "home" would look like to those who want to go home.

      Thank you for the cake. It sounds delicious!

      We need a RevGal recipe blog, friends!

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    2. Yay Dorcas! glad you are back to preaching...

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    3. Aw, thanks! I think I like the idea of a Rev Gal recipe blog. :-) I do have a cooking blog, and the apple cake recipe is right here.

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  13. I'm thinking about the Screwtape letters and the newspaper as frames for a discussion of Job and suffering. How we are divided, what draws us together, the suffering in the world and how we frame and understand that suffering.

    Do you think it would be too hokey to lay out a sheet and then throughout the sermon lay pages from the newspaper on it as I talk about the suffering in the world and then gather up the sheet to surround the pages to illustrate God's love and presence undergirding and surrounding all that is?

    To note, I've never been with this congregation before, there is no children's service (not sure about number of children at church) and I'm just supplying for this coming Sunday.

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    1. Why not, Joy? It doesn't sound hokey to me.

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    2. Sounds like a good idea to me!

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  14. Been away for a while as I am using the Narrative Lectionary. Anyone else doing that? We're on David's desire to build a temple, and God's saying no.

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    1. I seem to remember that there are some other RevGals using that text. I hope one or more of them will check in with you on that.

      I do remember preaching on that text sometime in the summer from the "regular" lectionary.

      Let us know how it's going, Rev!

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  15. And just like that it's time to head to a baseball game. Happy writing, all!

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  16. And just like that, I'm back, in the interest of making sure 17yo gets *her* homework done before she goes on a date tonight. (!!!!!) Yes, there is a boyfriend in the picture. And a forgotten homework assignment. And a phone dropped in the bathtub. We're in deep.

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    1. What a time for you and the 17yo! One of the wisest things anyone ever said to me when I was teaching 16 and 17 yo's was, "Just remember to wait 30 seconds--" though I think maybe the 30 second rule does not apply to phones in the bathtub.

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  17. Hey hey, gals and pals. I'm preaching everyone's favorite topic tomorrow: STEWARDSHIP. Yeehaw. Preaching from 2 Corinthians 8-9, which I love, but I've been in knots over this sermon all week. I'm in the middle of a 2-week DMin course in Atlanta but have flown home to preach (felt I'd missed too many Sundays already this year) before flying back to ATL tomorrow. Am having a bit of a hard time switching gears for the weekend...

    I don't have any yummies to share today, but I'm happy to be in fellowship with y'all.

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    1. Happy you are here, earthchick! What a busy weekend for you. May you pace yourself and breathe through it all.

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    2. Goodness! I too have a very difficult time switching gears like that...praying for inspiration to strike for you!

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    3. Thanks, both of y'all! I managed to get a little bit of writing done on the plane yesterday, which was a relief, but haven't managed much more since then. Feeling hopeful, though, and trying to breathe deeply.

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    4. I'm doing stewardship too--week 2 of 4. Hope everything comes together for you! Switching gears like that is challenging for sure!

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    5. Woo, RDM, 4 weeks of stewardship sermons!! God bless you!!! It makes sense to do it that way - I have found it hard to get everything in there that I thought I wanted to say. Lots on the cutting room floor this week.

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  18. A wistful visit to the preacher party for me... I am waiting for a neutral pulpit to be announced (probably some time in November) and I am having a terrible case of "preaching withdrawal." (For those unfamiliar with neutral pulpits, this is a step in the interview process in the UCC, and it might result in me getting a part-time pastorate.) I've had several weeks now of waiting and haven't preached since my sabbatical coverage gig ended... I've been trying to visit different churches each week to get a sense of what other local congregations & preachers are doing, but in each place I find it so hard to sit in a pew when I want to be in the pulpit!
    So, to those of you writing and preparing...blessings. I'm looking forward to rejoining your ranks sometime soon. In the meantime, I brought lots of chocolate-covered ginger shortbread for everyone to share.

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    1. Thanks for checking in, MaineCelt. It is so hard to be in the pastor in the pew. I've had a few weeks of that myself.

      Prayers for a speedy neutral pulpit and also for your discernment process.

      Seems there are a few of us in transition or facing transitions soon. So nice to be in such great company!

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    2. MaineCelt - I understand that feeling well! And so am holding you in prayer with special intention.

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  19. Just needed to vent. Found a sermon a few days ago published online by a fairly well-known pastor. It had a cute little opening referring to a cartoon he'd seen. I began googling to see if I could find the cartoon myself - no such luck, though I did find several people who had lifted the original preacher's entire paragraph about it. I finally did find what I think is the original cartoon and it looks quite different from what the original pastor described. But what rankles me is I found a sermon posted online that was VERBATIM the exact sermon of the well-known pastor, without any footnotes or any kind of acknowledgement at all. The original sermon was preached in 2003 and the copy was preached in 2010. I left a note on the copy (it was on a blog), with a link to the original, but the comments are only published after approval.

    It's certainly not the first time I've found plagiarism on the internet, but it's one of the most egregious.

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    1. YIKES! Even if the comments are only published after approval at least the person will know they've been outed. There are serious consequences inflicted by some denominations for plagiarism.

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    2. Ugh. I feel kind of bad now. Turns out the blog doesn't belong to the pastor who preached the plagiarized sermon - it belongs to a retired minister who I believe is a member of the preacher's congregation. So now I've ratted him out to a church member, when I thought I was trying to get the pastor to just take the thing down. The blog owner has written: "Thanks for your comment, which I have not yet posted. I have taken the matter up with the preacher." I hope I haven't gotten him in trouble.

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    3. "what a tangled web we weave...." Earthchick, I am glad you said something. Who knows where it will lead--maybe not to trouble but maybe to care and compassion for the preacher who lifted a sermon. I like to think that the blog owner was tender in confronting the preacher. I like to think that your comment may have led to help for a preacher backed into a corner. But if the "like-to-thinks" are pie-in-the-sky thoughts, then maybe your comment led to a return to integrity for the preacher in questionl

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  20. Btw, Terri, is your denomination one of the ones that punishes severely for plagiarism? Because the copy was preached by an Episcopal priest (and it looks like the owner of the blog is a retired Episcopal priest).

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    1. Well, we sure don't like it. And depending on the Bishop it could be trouble. Sounds like the priest who owns the blog will deal with it - which may or may not include reporting it to the Bishop. I'm glad the blog owner has responded. That's a good start. Perhaps it will just be between them? And the priest will learn? We shall see..

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  21. I figured I'd stop in here for some energy before I returned to the manuscript I began last night. Walked a 10K CROP walk this morning with a few of the guys from church. This year the Youth went off to another congregation in WVA for Apple-butter making. What an experience for a bunch of urban/suburban kids! They've texted me pictures and I added some from before the walk so we will have a slide show (Keynote actually) before church begins. Perhaps I can wind those adventures into the sermon.

    I've titled it after Brian McLaren and Tony Compolo's book, Adventures in Missing the Point. The title is a better fit for the James and John text than the book. I feel like I'm beating them over the head with 'priority' talk, but with our attendance falling into the low 40's on good sundays I feel its worth mentioning. Still it is not a direct correlation unless one feels like coming to church is 'suffering'... sigh, back to the drawing board before someone else comes to that conclusion..
    Terri, thanks for your thoughts, I need a bit more story-telling in my sermons again.

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    1. RevNancy, alas I didn't go fully into story telling...but there is a bit of info from the video....

      I love how handy you are with keynote - I must take a class on it since I cannot really get it to work for me. But then, we don't have a screen in the church so I wouldn't use it in worship - but I might for other occasions...

      and, I understand how it feels when attendance dwindles...sigh

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  22. Well this is turning out to be a very "preachy" sermon. I'm going to add some visuals, but I don't really like it. I'm going to tell myself that there is a time NOT to be subtle..sigh

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    1. If it is any consolation, there have been times when I felt "preachy" and it really seemed to speak to some in the congregation in surprising ways. So, if "not subtle" is where the Spirit has led you, go for it!

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  23. My sermon...lol...has been rewritten...I hope there is a consistent thread of a message in it now. After a week of writing six newsletter articles, two liturgies, and beginning my mutual ministry review reflection, I may be rung-out and written out....

    So here it is, in new form God, face to face in one another

    Now I think I'll clean the house, at least a little bit.

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    1. I thought it made very good sense and delivers a powerful message. Thank you, Terri!

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    2. Thanks, Sharon. I value your opinion...and that of others in this ring.

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  24. Hello everyone!
    Will preach Job and Mark, with both of them suggesting to me to be careful what you ask. Both Job asking God and the disciples asking Jesus. God/Jesus is happy to answer. But there are no guarantees we want the answers they provide. Maybe we do.
    I have the Job section written. Will work on Mark now.
    Blessings!

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    1. I did a Mark/Job combo plate last week. It seemed to work well. Made sense to me, anyway. Blessings to you, too.

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    2. That's kinda what I was thinking about, too, Marci, if I had been preaching this week. Keep on!

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  25. Done and done! Here it is in all of its...whatever ;) And, I've realized that grandiose passages of scripture make me verbose...

    http://reverendjoy.blogspot.com/2012/10/proper-24b-on-suffering.html

    Or, you could click on my name...

    Anyone want mac and cheese w/ salmon and peas?

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    1. Very nice sermon, Joy! Thank you for posting it.

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    2. Thanks Sharon! I dumped my first 5 initial impulses and that's what came out!

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    3. Joy, I'll be over in a bit to read yours. I'm making mac and cheese baked with hamburger and a side of peas...lol

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  26. Mine is up. I may review again later but I'm going to take a shower now and figure I'll feel better. I hope to check in later. Blessings to all the night writers.

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    1. Thank you for posting your sermon, Nancy!

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    2. RevNancy, I'll be over soon!

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  27. Just home from larger than expected funeral with more than anticipated lunch-time schmoozing feeling wrung out. Write a sermon? Seems impossible at the moment.

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  28. Ugh! You have worked hard today already. Can you take a little break for yourself before starting up again?

    We are here for you, Lynn!

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  29. I thought that I'd posted a couple of hours ago that I'd returned from funeral, cemetery, and luncheon, and was headed out for a walk, but I was so tired that I forgot to hit post, and fell asleep again.

    Mine is up at Metanoia. I had intended to preach only on Job, and then discovered that I had left the Mark reference in the bulletin, so I've tried bracketing Job with Mark. I don't know what I think; I'll decide tomorrow. If anyone has time to read and comment, that'd be great.

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    1. Hope you are feeling better after your nap.

      I loved the connections you made between Job and Mark. I was also touched by the honesty in your sermon which is not unlike the honesty of Job and also Jesus.

      Thank you for posting it, Robin!

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  30. Good evening preachers! I just got home about an hour ago from two very full days of Diocesan Convention...I had a great time but it was non-stop and exhausting.

    Of course I intende to write my sermon on Thursday, but it never got beyond a few notes. Really hoping what was in my brain when I wrote those notes is still substantial enough to get this thing written.

    And it's on stewardship, using Matt. 6:19-31. Thursday when I was out running it occurred to me that the Job passage might be useful, too. As in Job gave up everything and still remained faithful--what are we willing to give up with God? Not sure if I'm going there or not.

    I am 'introverted out'--what I'd really like is a movie and bed. Hope I'm not keeping the party going in the wee hours. So I guess I better get to it.

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    1. Hello, RDM!

      You reminded me of a little pet peeve of mine: When people say "God was with me" and "God answered my prayer" when the answer is "yes" or things went well for them. I don't hear -- and probably don't say it myself: "Things didn't go well for me (I lost, I was defeated, etc.), but I know God was with me."

      Let us know how it's going and if we can help in any way.

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    2. RDM! Looking forward to seeing what you come up with and hope that it doesn't take into the wee hours of the morning. Wondering what events would look like if they were scheduled with introverts in mind. Sleep well. Hope you have a day off on Monday.

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  31. Woohoo. For the first time in ages looks like I will be in bed before midnight and be finished for Sunday - unless Holy Spirit changes things during the night. And she can be contrary like that! here it is.
    For children's time, I'm going to ask about favourite chairs for stories or for watching TV etc and ask what makes them the good places to sit.
    Hoping a good nights sleep might restore some oomph that I seem to have mislaid this week.

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    1. A privilege to read your sermon, Liz! Thank you for posting it for us.

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  32. Planned to be done by now, but instead had a much needed long conversation with a parishioner and leader who is seriously grieving my going. At this point my sermon feels unbearably preachy and clunky. I will give it one more hour and then call it a night. This is one of those times when I am looking forward to a break from weekly sermonating.

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    1. Oh, Celeste. The leave-taking is hard.

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    2. You gave your parishioner a gift today. Be good to yourself, too, during this time.

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    3. The time was holy, healing and so worth it. It does help to have people who get that this in-between is hard albeit necessary time. Sermon, for what it is wort, is printing. Still pretty preachy - but honestly, so is Jesus. Off to be good to myself by getting out of my office. Blessings preaching pals - those sermonating as well as those waiting with expectation.

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  33. I may not be midwifing a sermon tonight, but I'm waiting up for my daughter. This whole teenager-with-a-boyfriend thing is new for me. I'm still working on my lecture for Monday and wishing there were some ice cream around here.

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    1. For the rest of us, "teenager-with-a-boyfriend" sounds very cute. For you, probably not so much. Will she be wanting to chat then, or is she not like that?

      I do have some chocolate ice cream with dark chocolate Hershey's syrup, but I imagine that virtual ice cream is not going to do it for you tonight!

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  34. Tomorrow's going to be a tough one. I have two sermons to get done tonight, one following the lectionary for two of my churches, and a different one for my third congregation. This congregation watched half its town burn down this week. The church is still standing, though there is smoke damage. We're going to worship outside in front of the church with the firefighters and others who worked so hard to stop the fire. I find myself tearing up every time I try to write something. All I keep thinking is, we're here and we're grateful. I'm praying the Holy Spirit will give me words and the calm to get through tomorrow.

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    1. PS, I am SO sorry to read this. You're in the right place, as you will all be enveloped in prayer from this moment on.

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    2. We are holding you in prayer, PS, and your congregation as well. Lord in your mercy . . .

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    3. Oh...PS, prayers for all of you.

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    4. Lord, have mercy. Prayers for everyone.

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    5. Grace and peace for all and many many prayers.

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    6. P.S. praying for you and all your people. God's peace fill you as you bring the healing renewing Word.

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    7. P.S., praying for you and your congregation.

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    8. P.S., praying for you and for all.

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    9. Prayers, P.S., for you, your congregation/s and your town. How good it is that you are there.

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    10. Praying for you and your congregation

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  35. baptism and confirmation service is over, it went well, and while it was longer than our usual services, no complaints. people loved it. It was a wonderful time to baptise 2 people from the congregation , and confirming a person who was baptised and worshipped with the congregation since birth. a great celebration and a full church - double our usual numbers!

    now to lunch with the confirmation family, and I suspect a whole lot of others, then a rest this afternoon, and a day off tomorrow.

    blessings to those still preparing and yet to lead worship.

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    1. What a joyous occasion! Thanks for checking in, Pearl. So encouraging!

      Yea, God! And, yea YOU!

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  36. Am definitely late to the party....preaching finally after a five week hiatus. We have had Fall Fair doings all week, with the actual event today. I am exhausted, and sketching out my sermon with the thoughts I had earlier this week. However, I learned there will be two special visitors in the congregation and I want to be on.
    Always grateful for that Holy Spirit got your back thing.

    Martha, it's only 9:00...dear mama....

    and P.S. and Celeste, prayers for you....

    and good thoughts all around.....

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    1. Welcome!

      Two special visitors, hmmm??? Sounds like a great day coming up!

      Sketch on, friend, and good thoughts be with you, too.

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    2. Karla, will be sending prayers your way.

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    3. revkjarla! Exciting! And you're right. I was just lonely and making too much fuss. One thing we like about the boyfriend, he gets her home on time.

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  37. Replies
    1. Thanks!

      She went out for a longer adventure today and we couldn't find her for a long time and then she showed up at the back door when she was good and ready. I'm sure that's a profound allegory of some kind but I can't quite make it work.

      It most definitely has nothing to do with teenaged daughters out on dates! =)

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  38. thanks for the comments on mine. I've opened tabs for yours that I haven't finished and will read for my "church" tomorrow afternoon.
    I'm going to quit early, I hope. I've got to review a few things and hopefully sleep better tonight than last night.

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    1. Sleep well. Peace be with you, Nancy.

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  39. Well, preacher friends, I've got a draft and I'm going to let it sit and simmer for the night. Still need to prep for Church School, finish laundry, pack to fly out again tomorrow, and get my kids' clothes ready for the week to try to make things easier on dh. Oof! A mama's work is never done - just like a minister's!

    But! I remembered that there are *two* different kinds of ice cream in the freezer (bear claw and caramel chocolate-pretzel crunch). PLEASE help me eat it, y'all!

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    1. Perfect! Delicious ice cream!

      Hope you can pace yourself and have a blessed Sunday and great week of class.

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    2. Thank you, Sharon, and thanks for the party!

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  40. Well, I just arrived home and decided to read what is happening at the preacher party....oh my. So much to pray about, so will do that as soon as I log off. We had an amazing, joyful, tearfu time tonight. We had visiting guests who led the singing and worship and they were wonderful and just seemed to usher us into the Spirit's presence...and it was like that all night. Wow. Now it's off to bed for me, and up early to be at a practice for a play I am in at the church husband and I attend on Sunday AM. Kind of makes for a strange weekend, but I'm not complaining. It just feels so right to be preaching! And the point that God brought life to the dry bones (called a "great army") and even though we know there are always battles to wage with darkness, God first gives them a home--and what kind of "home" are we? Well...sure seemed to resonate. I was worried. But the Spirit "had my back" it seems. Blessings all as you proclaim the good news tomorrow.

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    1. Welcome, Dorcas, and thank you for the wonderful report of good worship tonight. Your joy in preaching is great to hear and the congregation heard the good news. Yep, I'd say that the Spirit had your back, indeed.

      Thank you for adding your prayers, too. Much appreciated.

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  41. Sharon, I'm trying to thank you for your comment above, but the reply key isn't working. So . . . thank you, here!

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  42. Happily, I think my sermon was more articulate than that post. LOL! I think I need to sleep! :-)

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  43. Ugh. I finally, after several false starts, have a draft, but I'm too tired to be sure it actually makes any sense. And I still need to hem an acolyte robe before i go to bed. How that got to be my job I'm not sure, but at this point it just needs to be done.

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    Replies
    1. Funny how that happens! But not "ha-ha" funny on a Saturday night.

      A draft + a decent night's sleep = a sermon that will preach just fine! That is my prayer for you tonight. That, and very very quick hemming stitches.

      Peace be with you, RDM.

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  44. It's 10:00 Central Time and it's time for this girl to call it a night.

    Thank you all for being here, for sharing yourselves and your sermons and other thoughts, and for the great snacks! Most especially, thank you for making this a place of prayer and care, laughter and inspiration. What a blessing!

    May God bless each of you and those you serve in Christ's name.

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