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Saturday, November 17, 2012

11th Hour Preacher Party: "Birth Pangs" Edition


Speaking of birth pangs . . .

I can't remember which baby it was, but it was either 34, 33 or 27 years ago . . .

The week before I gave birth, my obstetrician was suffering with kidney stones. As bad as his pain was, he considered himself fortunate that it was "only" kidney stones.  

It seems that, over the years, he had wondered about how severe labor pains could really be. So, he had asked "which is worse?" of his patients who had endured both kidney stones and the "pangs" of anesthesia-free childbirth. The women's experience was that labor pains are more painful than kidney stone pain.

He told me these things mere minutes after I had given birth -- anesthesia free -- as he expressed his newly discovered, very sincere empathy for women in the throes of labor!

Are you preaching on Jesus' announcement of the beginning of birth pangs? (I had to look that up to see if Jesus really said "birth pangs." Yes, he really said that!)  

Are you telling the story of Hannah's much-anticipated pregnancy? Are you singing her song?

What stage of sermon labor are you in?

I am most definitely an 11th Hour Preacher this week. Where did the week go?

Let's get this party started New Orleans style!  Help yourselves to some delicious French Market beignets (pronounced ben-YAYS: fried puffy doughnuts with powdered sugar) and some dark roast coffee with rich cream.  

Welcome, friends!

(Newborn picture is precious grandson Daniel, now 2 1/2 years old.) 

89 comments:

  1. Thanks for showing Baby Daniel off, Mom! <3

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    1. Thank you for being such a sweet momma to him and a sweet daughter to me, Amy! <3

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    2. Adorable picture Sharon. Thanks!

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  2. not quite where I thought this was going to end up, but hey, only hope ti was the Spirit not tiredness.
    looked mainly at Hannah's prayers.

    all the best for those of you about to start your Saturday.

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    1. I am looking forward to reading what you wrote, Pearl.

      Blessings on your Sunday!

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    2. Oh, Pearl, you've done it again! What an engaging and inspiring sermon...I love to read what you write. Thanks for sharing, and giving me some wonderful ideas to percolate in my brain and heart while I am writing...

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  3. Hi I'm in the UK and settling down to finish off my sermon for tomorrow on Mark 13 - a chapter I learned by heart for a recitation of Mark members of our church did in Lent - a chapter a piece!

    So far my themes involve:
    * The disciples' response to what Jesus says (shock? awe? confusion?)
    * Jesus speaking out of an established apocalyptic tradition
    * Our resistance to look at end times, death, funerals etc in preference for other texts

    I'm liking your picking up of the birthpangs as I was looking of some way of turning this towards a more hopeful conclusion than focusing on war, earthquake and famine!

    I'll let you know how it goes!

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    1. Hi Sarah!

      I like your focus on the response of the disciples -- and ours. I wonder what Jesus expected? Can we imagine "the baby" to be worth the pangs?

      Please do let us know how it goes!

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  4. Would you all like some muffins?

    After five heavy weeks of Job and Veterans' Day, I'm trying to lighten things up with a communion/thanksgiving service.

    First, though, a peer supervision group of spiritual directors this morning - one of the most fun and satisfying parts of my month. It's similar to the CPE model of supervision, but without the performance stress. Our group has been meeting for about three years, so we've become close friends around a ministry we're all passionate about.

    Then this afternoon I am speaking? -- maybe? -- at a Survivors of Suicide Day event. This is one of the most disorganized events in which I've ever participated; I guess I'll leave it at that. Except to say that last week I was told that there would be seven people, and last night that there would be 40 plus walk-ins, and that "this is very casual." I wish that the planner understood that often "very casual" requires more planning and organization than something more formal, and that speaking with seven people demands a completely different approach than speaking with 40-50.

    At any rate, it's a beautiful and sort of warm day out there. And what can possibly go wrong when you cram 40 grief-stricken people into close quarters?

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    1. Giving thanks for your peer group and holding you in prayer in the midst of the confusion. Sounds like it has the potential to be a blessing filled day, Robin!

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    2. Oh, mercy, Robin. Blessings on you!

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  5. It is our Consecration Sunday and we are using the Thanksgiving gospel text. We are focusing on our gratitude for all God has given us.

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  6. Good morning, Megan. That sounds like a very wonderful way to worship at the beginning of Thanksgiving week. You sound ready to go!

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  7. Breakfast done, and I'm having another cup of coffee to try to get going.

    I have an idea for the sermon that has to do with Hannah living into the call that God has for her, which may also be what Jesus is asking us to do in the gospel text? To not be afraid to put ourselves into a bigger picture? Title: "Who Me? Really?"

    I'll have a muffin, Robin, and offer some of my delicious grits with butter!

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    1. I am ready for a muffin now and a cuppa.

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  8. I am doing Thanksgiving texts from Joel and Matthew. I was intrigued by the restoration of the earth in Joel. I am trying something "different" tomorrow. I am using the folk tale of "Stone Soup" as a format. The congregation will find cans of corn, rice, pumpkin pie filling, coupon for a turkey, cranberries, and a six-pack....of water...in various pews. (I know which pews are always filled). There will be some around the chancel area. As we "make" a Thanksgiving stone soup...they will be invited to bring the items to the front and place in a basket. Yes, the basket will not hold it all...so we will have an abundance. All the items will be given to the food pantry.

    Then...to incorporate Joel's opening words, "Do not fear, O soil"...do we care for the earth as much as we care for those who need a thanksgiving meal? Will we be mindful of the aluminum cans, the plastic water bottle, the styrofoam plates/cups, etc...

    For in the restoration of the earth...so shall the people find restoration in God...or something like that.

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    1. Purple, I always love ideas that make the story visual. And this is a great way to get people moving a little, too.

      I also like the earth-care connection. The congregation that I currently serve is very mission minded and socially conscious, but their coffee hour every Sunday is all styrofoam. Ack!

      Let us know how it's going!

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    2. Love the stone soup idea! What fun. Wish I could be there to hear the sermon and to see the response.

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    3. Purple, your embodied sermon illustration is great! I'm totally taken with Joel's line about the soil, too. In a thousand subtle ways, the soil is the proving ground of restoration and resurrection. As the old Scottish poem (The Flyting of Life & Death) says, "...an open grave is a furrow soon. Ye'll no keep my seed from falling in. Quoth Life, the world is mine!"

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  9. Hi Ya'll, While I was waiting for friends from NY to arrive, I wrote a decent sermon on Daniel and MK talking about the end times. Since next week we will be doing Christ the King, I wanted to talk about what the End Times meant in the 1st cent. and what they mean today--that the ends meant a way to a new beginning. It was the same for the Maya since Dec. 22 is coming up too. ;.0. What does it mean to start over? What does it mean to change directions or course in one's life. The older I get the more I am convinced that is the changes in my life that has formed me into the person I am. It is also important to think of it politically--ie how are we going to change to undo the grid lock we have over issues? How are we going to be able to address the global issues if we cannot compromise? etc.

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    1. Like it, Mutha+. Mucho!

      Joke running around Facebook today:
      "So, Twinkies which were supposed to survive a nuclear holocaust, die three weeks before the end of the world? Well played, Mayans!"

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  10. I found out yesterday that I am preaching tomorrow (!)...I am concentrating on Mark's Gospel. I keep hearing in my mind REM's "It's the End of the World As We Know It (And I Feel Fine)," and I think I want to somehow convey the idea that this and other apocalyptic texts in the Bible are less about "the end of the world" in conventional terms and more about "the end of the world as we know it"; that they speak to times of change and uncertainty, not with a step-by-step blueprint of what's happening next but with an assurance that God is working on humanity's behalf no matter what our experience of the moment. (I'm not an A/V kind of person, but it's one Sunday I wish I had a projector and could weave music and video into the whole thing.) At our place my dear partner is making chorizo chili for later in the day...I'd love to share a virtual bowl with all the readership! No Twinkies, though.;-)

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    1. Chorizo chili -- yum, LC!

      I started to say that I wish I had that step-by-step blueprint, but, come to think of it, God's presence and activity is probably more than enough to cover whatever uncertainty there be. And it keeps the adventure real, too!

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    2. I too have that song in my head, and am using the line form the chorus in the sermon.

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  11. Good morning, all. I'm preaching #11 out of a series of 12 sermons on "life together" as the church, and I am so glad the series is almost over!! It's been a hard but good experience to preach more topic-driven sermons. I'm ready to get back to the lectionary!

    Tomorrow I'm preaching on "Life Together Persisting" and am considering the discipline of stability/commitment/persistence. As usual, I have lots of thoughts but nothing concrete. I'm using Jeremiah 29 ("build your house and live in it"), which I preached a few years ago and was pleased with - I might be shamelessly borrowing from my previous self....

    There's a potluck dinner tonight for the young adult families and I really want to go, but not sure if I can get the sermon done in time to make it. I've already made my contribution to the meal, so at least I don't have that pressure on me, but the pressure of an early evening deadline is making me twitchy. Husband and children are going regardless, so I could be looking at an evening at home alone, writing. Which really isn't such a bad prospect, come to think of it!

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    1. Good morning to you, earthchick!

      I remember, and take to heart, what my seminary professor said about sermons: "If it was worth preaching once, it is worth preaching again." Some contextual tweaking is generally required, but yes, I do agree!

      "Life Together" is challenging, and so your congregation gets to figure out how they can navigate together the "we" of our faith. Thanks for sharing such a great idea!

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  12. I'm not scheduled to preach tomorrow...but a text message from my colleague saying that he has bronchitis and can't remember being this sick means that I'm preaching anyway, no matter what the schedule says!
    We're off lectionary at the moment and the bulletin says the sermon is on Matthew 5.13-20--salt, light, and something about the fulfillment of the law. The ever-so-imaginative title he picked is "salt, light, and law." The theme we planned worship around was something about how Jesus turns negative commands into positive ones--"love your neighbor" means not just love your friend, but love your enemy as well. Or something. Lots of songs about love.
    The sermon I already have on this text ignores the fulfillment of the law business and is titled "be yourself"--it's about being who God made us to be: the salt that brings out the flavor of the kingdom in the world, the light that makes God's glory visible, etc.

    SO this morning's big debate: use the old sermon even though it won't fit with the rest of worship? Write something new that tries to get at the theme? Attempt to tweak the old one to fit? Other?

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    1. Had to chuckle, Teri: "The ever-so-imaginative title . . ."

      My vote: Yes, tweak the old sermon. It doesn't seem like you are inspired by what he would have done, or your understanding of where that was headed. Without too much contortion, I can see how "be yourself" (as you described it) might be exactly what the fulfilled law would look like . . . what God was really going for anyway . . . or something like that . . . ?

      Please do let us know how it's going!

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  13. I'm working from the Thanksgiving texts & not using Hannah, partly because a seminary friend said "the distraught woman thing is too easy for you; go for Thanks!" This is also a neutral pulpit sermon for me, and I don't think it makes sense to meander through the landmines of Hannah's territory with a search committee/congregation I don't know very well....yet.

    I'm using Joel, Psalm 126, and Matthew 6, trying to weave a message of Good News about God's deep and renewing love for all of Creation. I'm powerfully drawn to Joel 2:21 where the prophet says, "Do not fear, o soil..." When I think of all we humans have done to disturb, destroy, and poison the soil, this passage becomes more and more powerful to me. But can I get this to preach, and can I make it all the way to the Good News?

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  14. In other words, I want Purple to come over to my house so we can work on our sermons together. Guess this preacher party is a close second, though!

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    1. MC, cool! A neutral pulpit sermon! They will love thanks for Thanksgiving, and renewal is a great theme for that setting.

      How about a late morning snack for you and Purple -- and for the preachers who were called off the bench at the last minute? I have chocolate dipped doughnuts, and toasted coconut ones, and more of whatever hot beverage you want to go with that!

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    2. MMmmmm, doughnuts! Thanks, Sharon! And another mug of peppermint tea...

      I'm rounding the bend on my sermon and I think I'm going to run down the road to buy a copy of Dahlov Ipcar's book about a New England farm, "Hardscrabble Harvest." With charming illustrations and rhymed verse, it talks about all the small disasters that happen in a gardener's year, (cows in the turnip field, raccoons in the corn) ending with all the relatives arriving on Thanksgiving to "eat it all up." I'll either use it for the children's message or sermon illustration or both-- because the flip side of the story is that every single creature on that farm gets to share the feast in one way or another.

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    3. That sounds like a delightful book, MC!

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    4. MC, if I leave now and drive straight through I could be there in about 18 hours! :)

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  15. Blurgh... blogger ate my comment. I'm writing a twofer- the churches I'm preaching in this Sunday and next were fine with sharing thanksgiving across the week. So I'm using Ps 100 and Col 1:3-14 to look at the way we give thanks, to whom and for what. I'm intrigued by the interplay of thanks and gratitude and their connection etymologically to grace. Right now I'm thankful for the company of others here on this fine busy day!

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    1. And we are thankful for you, but not for hungry blogger that ate your comment!


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  16. heading to a webinar about the UCCan pension plan.

    and then later today figuring out when the day of the lord is/will be--or atleast how to talk about that topic.

    ANd can I justifiably use the MAyan calendar in this discussion?

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    1. Hi Gord!

      IMHO -- use the Mayan calendar while you can! When it's gone, it's gone. (right?)

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    2. I can see the sermon title now, "Twinkies and Mayans...Who will Survive?"

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  17. I think I've run dry but the sermon isn't done.. just I am. And thanks to this wonderful party, I remembered I need to go cook chili for tomorrow. Perhaps that will be a needed break. I'm using Mark 13 and my focus is foundation..as in focusing on the wrong one. I'm going to use images from Seaside Heights, NJ where I grew up that show before and after Sandy. It just feels like the end is a bit lame/ too stereotypical. Can I help it if Jesus keeps saying the same thing?

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    1. Hugs and prayers, Nancy. It must be hard for you to see those pictures. Maybe after you give it a rest, it will come together in a satisfying way.

      Our covered dish tomorrow is a "cold" covered dish: sandwiches, salads and desserts. I just came back from getting the ingredients for a black bean quinoa salad.

      I also got a variety of trail mixes. Help yourselves!

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  18. Finished the sermon/mediation. All the items have been places in the sanctuary. "Thank God for Dirt" here

    Thinking of having a rootbeer float (with low-carb ice cream and diet RB)...taking orders!!!

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    1. One of those floats for me, please. Your hard work deserves a treat!

      Have you seen "Dirt: The Movie"? It's about conservation from a dirt point of view. I liked it. And I liked your sermon, too!

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    2. Thanks Sharon. I'll have to check out that movie. I also meant to say that I took liberties with the folk tale "Stone Soup" to make this an interactive sermon.

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  19. morning all, just reread my sermon and fixed up some typos - just glad I noticed them now and not in the middle of worship :)

    off to worship, and a baptism - this is one of those days I love being a Minister

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  20. I've been working hard all day, all week, but haven't done a bit of sermon prep. And the elementary 'Pizza with the Pastor' has worn me out. I think I'm preaching Mark - but I have to re-read the texts, because I can't remember what they are beyond Mark is end of the world stuff.

    On the plus side, my DH is making a pot roast for supper. So at least I don't have to cook.

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    1. God's gift of pot roast and hubby to do the cooking!

      Keep us posted on your progress, Ramona.

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  21. Ok sermon uploaded here

    http://easyasfallingoffablog.blogspot.co.uk/2012/11/sermon-on-mark-13.html

    not sure if it will get adapted in the delivery and I am preaching the same thing at two churches for the first time ever 10am and 11.15am services!

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    1. Thank you for sharing your sermon, Sarah. I enjoyed reading it!

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    2. I did that same sermon/two churches things a couple of months ago. A bit hard to keep the liturgies straight, but otherwise not too bad. Blessings!

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  22. I started this note at 4pm- now 5pm after an hour long conversation with someone who needed it. Not .A Word Written. Not sure I have an idea. Had planned a full day of house stuff, instead was barely able to crawl out of bed all day. I think my body is trying to tell me something... Tomorrow we have a congregational meeting to vote on hiring an architect to create a plan to deal with long standing problems, accessibility and welcoming functional space. Have no idea how the vote will go- one line of reasoning I hear is that nothing should be done until there is a new full time minister. Not enough money, or members or reasons to continue,the church is dying and why throw more money at it. Sigh... not mine... I keep repeating - this next phase in their journey is not mine.

    Time to create something that resembles a sermon.

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    1. (((HUGS))) Celeste!

      It's such a challenging time, isn't it? Leaving, but not yet gone. And all the issues and dynamics are still what they were.

      On the other hand, there might be something in the "pangs" or the "stones" that might work for your situation.

      I'm here too, still putting words together.

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    2. sermon - for what it is - printed. Now to put together the powerpoint for the congregational meeting and vote. I did try really hard to have someone else take this on. After all, "it is not mine"... There are 3 people who will speak to it and lead the meeting but no one willing to the do the behind the scenes stuff to make the meeting happen.

      Honestly there is a part of me that wants to just not do it but I can't do that... back at it. Good to have a safe place to vent

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  23. Chili is made and sermon is coming along. I want 'lite' rootbeer floats and other goodies that this buffet is offering tonight. I keep trusting that this will come together. But I'm tempted to go finish it in front of the TV. Hubby is off hunting and son just came home and left again. I usually enjoy some rare quiet time at home, but this house is too quiet tonight! Make some noise, y'all!

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    1. In this party corner, we are watching the LSU-Ole Miss game online. There is much cheering from the fans on both sides because it's been an exciting game that is now tied 35-35.

      Also just remembered -- thank you, Nancy! -- that I forgot to start the quinoa cooking for tomorrow's salad. (sigh)

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  24. Hi, y'all. Here I am, late to the party. It's been the Cliffs of Insanity at church all week, leading up to our Christmas Fair today. My job was greeting people, and after five hours of it, I came home and went to sleep, after which I still needed to go to the store if I wanted dinner.
    So it's almost 7:30, and I don't have much of anything written. We're using the Thanksgiving lections, specifically Joel and Matthew. I'm leaning on the format of something I wrote when my oldest graduated from college, breaking down the insights Jesus shares. I really have to write new material, but at least I have a framework.
    The first Bible from which I remember reading this passage is still in my house, a little red letter KJV New Testament my dad got for me in Bethlehem when I 7. I'm finding it hard to be all thank-y and happy when I consider the circumstances in Gaza right now. As a friend said on Facebook, if you're on either side in that conflict, you're on the wrong side. I put myself in the places of mothers on both sides and have to consider that my worries for my children are pretty mundane compare to wondering if a rocket is coming out of nowhere, or when the ground war might begin. "Do not worry about tomorrow," Jesus says. No small thing.
    I feel blessed by how kind my congregation is being as my departure nears. They are in a good place, which is a relief. I have enough other worries! And now we are come full circle...

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    1. Welcome, Martha!

      It is difficult indeed to be "all thank-y and happy" knowing what is going on out there. If the mothers were in charge of this whole thing, there might not be any fingers on the rocket launchers!

      So glad that your congregation is doing their part for a good ending of your ministry there.

      We're still writing with you!

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    2. Martha - I've been thinking about a Thanksgiving litany that reminds us how truly blessed we are - doing a thanks/prayer format. So while we ponder how blessed we are that we don't worry our kids will end up struck down by a rocket, we pray for those who do. Maybe not that specific, but at least bring some perspective to a community complaining about 'mundane' things.

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    3. Ramona, if you write something like that will you please send it to liturgylink@gmail.com? I think there are lots of people who could use something like that.

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  25. home after morning worship, baptised two adorable 8 month old, and big brother , 3 years old, poured the water into the font. this is one of those beautiful families, in love as well as in looks. one baby slept through the whole service including the baptism and woke to greet people at the door. did not wake even when I put the water on him.
    the other baby just beamed all the way through the Baptism, had a quick power nap for the sermon and was awake again for the rest of the service.
    time for a day off.

    also a new photo on my blog, courtesy of a photographer on the day of the previous Baptisms.

    God bless you all as you worship

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    1. How wonderful for all!

      You are an inspiration to the rest of us who are still writing and worrying.

      Thanks so much!

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  26. Checking in late, with a sustainable sermon, thank the Lord. It's been a busy week (somehow they all qualify). My sustainable sermon is a first person (from Eli's perspective) narrative on the Hannah story. Off to see if it's still preachable.

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    1. Hi esperanza!

      And "YEA!" for sustainable sermons. What would we do without them?

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    2. Oh, I'm hilarious. Too bad my sermon isn't.

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  27. There's plenty of pot roast, garlic roasted potatoes and green bean casserole to fuel anyone sermonating this evening. DH is a fantastic cook - the student has outdone the master, I'm afraid.

    I'm still wrestling with the text, but I have 500+ words and am ready to get to the 'grace' part, so it should be smooth sailing from here. BTW - Martha, thank you in advance for your CTK liturgical year review. As hard as the last two sermons were to write, I think I'll take a well needed break before going into Advent.

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    1. So glad it's useful! I am celebrating having next week's sermon DONE. If only that were true of this week's. But I'm close to halfway. I'll keep plugging.

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    2. Ramona, you taught him well. That dinner sounds yummy!

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  28. Here I am, trying to get started on a sermon on Mark and wishing desperately I was watching college football. It is our stewardship Sunday so I am pondering how to combine that with the apocalypse--the world will end if you don't give money? Ugh. Got to be careful with this one.

    I am, however, intensely pondering the T.S. Eliot line "in my end is my beginning."

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    1. semfem, I do love college football too! I did give in and watch most of my game, so now I get to pay for that distraction by getting focused on this sermon writing.

      Right now, I wish I could change the title and the focus of the whole thing, but I won't!

      semfem, I hope your team wins and that you get to sneak a peek, if you can!

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  29. Golly, this has been the most slow-going sermon and I've been in a near-panic at times today, but I *think* I'm making progress towards finishing up. Can't tell if it's going to be any good or not, though. I'm finding it difficult to do all that I'd hoped to do with the concept of "stability" and now I'm afraid I'm doing none of what I'd hoped to do. Eep!

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    1. That panicky feeling is no fun. I know because I'm having some of that myself right now.

      I always have to remind myself that there's never been a time that I got up in the pulpit and had to say, "I got nothin'" so I trust that tomorrow will not be the first time for that to happen!

      Cheering you on!

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    2. Thanks, Sharon! Very true words.

      I feel like I'm very close I just can't manage to seal the deal in a way that makes any sense. Also, I ran out of Cookie Butter! Ack!

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  30. I've spent most of the day with my sister and her friend YAY! We kick off four weeks of stewardship this week (yes the timing is bad but there's a good reason so it's okay). The program we're using has canned mostly formed sermons that are crap but I need the "bones" to go with the church wide study. At least I'm done. Now I'm hoping it comes off well in the morning. I'm worn out. Blessings on your Sunday!

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    1. Good to see you, Vicar! Sounds like you are all set for tomorrow. Thanks for dropping in to say "hi"!

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  31. I'm procrastinating, but not my sermon which I think is mostly done (havent looked at it since Thursday, so I'm praying it's ok). I'm trying a new thing I'm calling Sermon First, where I'm trying to prioritize sermon writing over other things, with the goal to be done with sermon by Weds. It's been an interesting experience and not 100% successful, but I'm hoping that I'll be living into it. Anyway, I have ANOTHER writing deadline, which is already overdue and I really MUST finish tonight. Sitting across the table from 5th grader and hubby who are working together on a project on 9-11 which was assigned with no exact due date - "due whenever you finish it" is like death in this family of procrastinators! Also, thinking of your comment earlier on Gaza, Martha, and looking at my sweet boy and thinking how far from horror his life has been. But. Really, must get back to writing. You too, I guess. Blessings!

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    1. Ooh, I really like this Sermon First thing! Wonder if I could ever possibly make that work.

      And I cannot imagine how my family would survive a "due whenever you finish it" project - that would be my nightmare!

      Wishing you much speed on your writing project!

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    2. Ooh.. I HATE those kind of projects! It drives my son nuts, because he's the kind of kid that needs the deadlines. He procrastinates then whines because he gets points off because he is 'too late' - how can you be late if there's no deadline? By getting the assignment in way later than the other kids! Just give me a deadline already!

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  32. Sermon done here, and I think I'm ready for this neutral pulpit.

    Thought I'd share this pastoral prayer, which touches on current world events and ties in with the readings for Thanksgiving, year B:

    Pastoral Prayer:
    Creator of all living things, you chose to muddy your hands with us. You know the beauty and the suffering of every sparrow, every lily, every particle of soil. Yes, even the soil: receiver of death, host of decay, baked dry by the sun and heaved by the frost, shoved aside by ploughs, shaken by the passage of trailors and their heavy loads, dumping place of poisons, blasted by miners and ripped open by war. Be with those for whom no ground is safe right now. Unblind us to your vision of reconciliation and peace, and help us prepare the ground for seeds of promise.
    Incarnate Lord, you know our most earthly burdens—and our most earthy blessings. Thank you for such intimate involvement. Thank you for your refusal to turn away. Be with those who travel and those who remain in place. Be with those who fret, those who laugh, and those who grieve. Like the November earth, dormant and dreaming, may we find rest, healing, renewal, and your unending grace. These things we pray in your name, Abundant God--and we give you thanks! Amen.

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  33. I'm done, but it's too long for a communion Sunday. I need to cut a couple of hundred words - if possible.

    But it's like the words are my babies - once written, how can I cut them off and cast them away?

    Maybe a quick trip to FB-land and I'll be clear enough to do some editing.

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  34. A lot of good things going on around here. Sermons are happening.

    Mine is finally close to being preachable and my brain is turning to mush. I wonder if I could do Sermon First? When I tried to do that before, all that happened was that my whole week was spent sermonizing and fretting. But perhaps I've grown up since then . . . (wishfully hoping) . . .

    I'm off to nighty-night time, friends.

    Thanks for being such terrific party pals today. We got a lot done and I give thanks for each one of you. May God's Holy Word be made real and relevant through your preaching and worship leadership tomorrow.

    I left a light on for you!

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  35. Leaving Starbucks since they are closing...heading home to hopefully finish this sermon up. 663 words and counting...

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

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  36. Done. Still long, but oh well. Fear, Hope and Birth Pains is posted.

    Sweet dreams all. Blessing on your worship!

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