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Saturday, November 24, 2012

11th Hour Preacher Party: New Year's Eve Edition

Does everyone have their party hats and noisemakers ready?  How about a bubbly drink for a toast?  Tonight is New Year's Eve Eve.  Right?  I mean, if Advent is the liturgical New Year's Day, then Reign of Christ/Christ the King must be New Year's Eve, which makes tonight  New Year's Eve Eve? 
The traditional music for this liturgical celebration tends to fit the celebratory mood, but the Scriptures always point us toward a very different sort of king to honor.  Likewise the flow of the liturgical year moves us quickly and paradoxically from a celebration of honor, royalty, and majesty to a period of waiting for a scandalous, humble birth. 
 
Where are you in the liturgical year and your preaching?  How are you addressing Reign of Christ/Christ the King?  Or are you on something completely different?  (I'm in the Narrative Lectionary and a week off in that to boot.)  Join us for a party in the comments.  I'm guessing I'm not the only one on this side of the ponds with turkey leftovers to share.  No pie left though.  Pies didn't even make it to Friday in our house.  I think it had something to do with the homemade bourbon whipped cream that topped them. (OH. MY. GOSH. It was good.) 

That said, there are plenty of sermon and worship goodies to share around the party, though, so regulars and lurkers (one of you who I met last week, especially!!!), come on in and join us.  Let's get this party started!

130 comments:

  1. Ok, I'll be first up :)

    I'm in VT, ending a week of vacation (wonderful!) and driving home tomorrow (today, I guess...) so I've been editing a sustainable sermon from 6 years ago, with an eschatological take on Christ the King and "wrinkled" time. I can't believe how much I repeated myself back then, so it still needs some work when I get home tomorrow.

    Now off to bed; out to breakfast with family in a few hours and then hit the road for home. I'll be checking in when I get there.

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    1. Welcome! I'm going the sustainable route this weekend, too, but mine isn't quite so old. Since I'm on the Narrative Lectionary and I missed last week, I'm going with the call of Isaiah this week. It was in the RCL just under 3 years ago. I'm holding my breath and hoping folks don't remember, but it is probably one of my favorite sermons of all time. The last time I preached it was really the second time I preached it, but in the second of two churches. This is the first time I've done one a third time, but I love it and think it is still a good one.

      We've got family in town until Sunday morning, so I'm perfectly happy enjoying them, checking in here at the party, and tweaking the sermon for the current context when I get a chance. The world will not collapse.

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    2. Rev Dr. Mom: Will you refer to any of L'Engle's "Wrinkle In Time"?

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  2. Bourbon whipped cream ... YUMMY! I'm sure I've put on 2 kg just imagining it.

    I'm not preaching this week - what a lovely break! - as I have a person from a centre for abused women and children coming to preach for the start of the 16 Days of Activism against gender and child abuse. This is a pretty bad area for that sort of thing but unfortunately most of the men will be away (including one who really needs to hear her!). Pity, but there you go. How to link this in the liturgy with Christ the King is another question! We have hymns for Christ the King but one or two penitential ones too. (Next week I have a similar situation -- World AIDS day and Advent Sunday.) Anyway today I won't be rushing around finishing a sermon, which is a lovely situation and very unusual!

    I have fresh ground coffee in the pot but, not being American don't have Thanksgiving leftovers so I guess I'll climb into yours!

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    1. Welcome! I love a day when I'm going to be in in worship, but not preaching. It's a whole new way to be with my church. Blessings on you today and tomorrow! It sounds like you are addressing important concerns this week and next. Fantastic!

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  3. I am writing, well will be in a minute when I finish checking Ravglas and facebook :) Tomorrow I ma going with the John reading, but slightly extended. I ma playing with this image, which I will be showing, I ahve also added some PP slides of GOD and world, is GOD in the world, or the world in God, or one with a fence separating GOD and world.
    looking at the idea that David Lose puts forward at working preacher, of being pulled in two directions. hopefully I will post it in an hour, otherwise it means a late night for me.
    I ahve taken the Gospel form NRSV and turned it not 4 parts, narrator, Pilate, Leaders and Jesus; hopefully ti works as well tomorrow as in my head!
    time to stop procrastinating and finalise the sermon.

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    1. i love conversing with art in a sermon! Peace to you!

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  4. Good morning gals and pals! I'm up insanely early and not very happy about it. Having hosted company since Wednesday, I'd been planning to let myself sleep in a bit today (company left last night), but instead I woke before 4:00a and never could go back to sleep for worrying over everything about tomorrow's worship. My husband/co-pastor and I are writing and preaching the sermon together, the final in our series on "Life Together." We're concluding with Micah 6:8, which our congregation's theme verse, and we've written a fair amount of it already but there is so much work yet to be done on it, and it's more challenging to write together than separately. Additionally, I had what I thought was a great idea earlier in the week, to teach the kids and the youth a song based on Micah 6:8 that I would play on the guitar and we would teach to the congregation as a part of our children's message time. Now I'm all stressed about that, on top of everything else.

    BUT! There's pie, and lots of it. Browned Butter Butterscotch Pie (with bourbon in it!) with homemade whipped cream, Oreo Cookie Butter Pumpkin Ice Cream Pie (that's right!), and Magic Pie (a chocolate chocolate chip vegan pie). Also Brown Sugar Pound Cake. Won't you help me eat it all?

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    1. Oooh! Oooh! I hate it when my body won't cooperate with my sleeping in plans! That stinks!

      Blessings as you write together. I had a senior pastor when I was an associate who always wanted to do a dialogue sermon, but I really didn't get along with him well, and I couldn't imagine trying to create something with him, so I never did it. I have another friend with whom I write sermons a lot (over the phone). I wish we had an opportunity to do it sometime, but it hasn't really come up since we live many miles away from each other.

      And OMG, listen to that dessert menu. I'll take one of everything so none of the bakers are offended.

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    2. What better way to start a Saturday than with dessert and the Preacher Party?! And your desserts sound amazing...

      I hope the sermon writing goes smoothly. As I read about it, my thought was that it sounds like one of those things that seems like such a good idea when you come up with it some time out from the actual event, and which then becomes a ton more effort (and seems like not such a good idea) when it rolls around. However, I bet it will be great in the preaching; hold fast to that hope!

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    3. Thanks, y'all. I am having "second breakfast" right now - a slice of cake! Since I had first breakfast so early - and it wasn't dessert! - I feel justified.

      Betsy, that is *exactly* what it is - one of those things that seems like a great idea at the time. This is only the 3rd time we've done a sermon together in 12 years of pastoring together, and every time it's way harder than I think it should be - but then I somehow forget that by the next time I suggest it. I always have this idyllic vision of how much fun it will be to work together. Instead, we just both get to be stressed rather than just one of us! And the kids miss time with both parents on Saturday, rather than with just one!

      Trying to keep this in mind so that I don't suggest this again anytime soon!

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    4. (also feeling the same way about teaching a song to the congregation with my guitar! what was I smoking when I came up with that idea?!)

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    5. Wait...you are doing both the joint sermon and teaching a song? Those creative juices must really have been flowing; too bad it is so hard to get them going again when the time arrives! Many prayers for you both in the process!

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    6. Thank you! And yes! I had this Grand Idea of a song I wanted to teach the congregation that goes along with the text, which would've been nerve-wracking enough without the joint sermon! Apparently my philosophy is "why just do it when I can overdo it?"!!!

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    7. LOL! How do we get ourselves into these predicaments? I hope it has all come together beautifully (which you probably don't know tonight but which will be revealed in the morning).

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  5. all this food sounds wonderful.

    sermon and order of service for tomorrow printing at the moment, which means almost time for bed YEAH! here it is almost 11pm Saturday evening, and I am feeling weary. Reign of Christ ?

    those just starting the day, hope ti is a good one.

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    1. Hope you're sleeping peacefully downunder, and that the sermon preaches!

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    2. Peace to you in the night, and blessings of the Spirit when you wake.

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  6. Earthchick, I hear you on the stressing - but it will be wonderful! And, if I felt better I'd head over for some of that pie and cup of coffee....

    Me, I slept until nearly 8am, not good, but perhaps needed to help me heal from this horrid head-cold. Seriously contemplating how I am living these days as I got really sick with the flu in Sept which turned into bronchitis that lasted most of Oct. and now this...? What's up with my respiratory system these days?

    Well, whatever.

    I have to construct a sermon today....and will begin by seeing if I have sustainable one to use (not likely)....and hoping I have a voice tomorrow.

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    1. Ugh! So sorry about your cold. I've had seasons where I seemed to get slammed with cold after cold. It's very discouraging. I hope you feel better soon!

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    2. Sorry about your cold. How miserable. It's probably a good thing you slept a little later. I was at CREDO last week and in the health section we talked about sleep in a way that was a little different for me to hear (and VERY helpful) - - sleep as a time when your body repairs itself from all the impace and damage of daily living. I'm sure when you're not feeling 100% your body needs more time to repair. I hope you feel better soon!

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    3. When I was a student (100 years ago) a doctor told me that a cold is nature's way of making one slow down and take a rest. I've always remembered that. So sleep as much as you can!

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    5. Terri, thinking of you and your bouts with colds, flu and bronchitis, I'm remembering a couple of lines from a song: "Sweet and slow, I know we can make it if we take it sweet and slow" Add a nap or two into your day today and dive into those desserts. Feel better.

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    6. Prayers for healing, Terri. And an anointing of oil from afar.

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  7. It's approaching bedtime in Beijing - but I need to fix the sermon ending. It has a good final flourish (antiphons used by the Order of St Helena - generously shared over in the Facebook group) but it is a bit abrupt. I'm sure there's a good paragraph that will help it all make sense...

    There's a pot of hibiscus tea here, sweetened with chrysanthemum sugar... And a shelf of many other kinds of tea if that's not too your taste. Wishing everyone a good writing day!

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    1. hibiscus tea and chrysanthemum sugar? wow, that sounds so exotic, and delicious. I hope the ending works out - I've had that happen to me too, and usually I figure it after I've preached it. sigh...

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    2. Oooh - - That does sound exotic. I hope by now you have found your needed transition and gone to bed. Peace to you this night!

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    3. okay, totally, off topic but where can I get hibiscus tea and chrysanthemum sugar? A google search (and much sermon procrastinating) has not yielded any sources.

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  8. I'm hiding in my room while my husband makes pancakes for the kids. They realized right after they crawled in bed at 8:42 pm last night that they never got dinner. The night ran away from us and they had a small snack a couple of hours earlier so we just tried to see if we could get away with that being it after we got home from a little festival downtown. We almost did it, but when they heard the grown-ups making turkey sandwiches they figured it out. My husband promised pancakes in the morning, though and they went right to bed. We call that Gold Star Parenting, folks.

    We have two extra folks in the house for the holiday weekend so I'm planning to repreach a sustainable sermon that I LOVE. This will actually be it's 3rd appearance(2nd in this congregation) - the most I've ever preached one sermon, I think. But I love it. And it will work again contextually. And I love it. And did I mention I have two houseguests? And I love it.

    Off to eat pancakes then take my sister-in-law and the kids to a local pottery studio where they are having a Small Business Saturday art sale. Also, for 410 you can make and decorate 10 clay ornaments. We're in!!!

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  9. Well I'm back on the wagon. Preaching for a beloved student at a COGIC church for their Unity Day (combining the former Women's and Men's Days). I've decided to go with Paul "neither male nor female." I'm having fun with the intro explaining who the Galatians were by way of Braveheart: "They were Celtic peoples from what became known as Ireland and Scotland – think “Braveheart” back when Mel Gibson wasn’t acting like he was raised by wolves, and about 1000 years before that story – and when they dealt with the Romans they were called barbarians, Gauls and Galatians."
    I'm talking about how radical the erasure of difference sounds but isn't when called for by someone with privilege leading to the assimilation of difference and how Paul violated his own tenet by calling for subjection of women and the circumcision of Timothy. And how true unity is not uniformity but diversity in unity - using a choir metaphor. And perhaps something about unity, liberty and equality. My title, U.N.I.T.Y. is from Queen Latifah.
    And now on small business Saturday, I'm going for a walk to patronize some local businesses.

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    1. I hit local shops today, too, mostly local shops that sell local items on top of that!

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  10. turkey is roasting in the oven. the temps are frigid outside. the tree is ready to adorn. puppy dog is snoozing. the sermon? oh yeah that... well i'm recycling and reworking. Terri i too have a horrid head cold... which makes complete, coherent sentences a bit of a challenge indeed!

    a quiet day at home, just me and the doggie. eating. resting. decorating... or in doggie language that's uhm shredding... anything cardboard... he's creating that "stable and manger" thing in the living room.

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    1. HC - oh Bailey...goodness. I hope you feel better - surely a turkey dinner will help!?!

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    2. I hope your quiet day brings you rest and health!

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  11. Hi, ya'll. We had Turkey Day yesterday. Our family is a bit slow. But I have a food hangover and am having a hard time getting going today. Besides, J went to bed at 4am this morning and woke me up. We had a time to TALK and I didn't get back to sleep until 5:30.

    Since last week I preached on the end times as new beginnings, tonight I have to preach on Christ the King. I think I want to talk about leadership. I have been reading Macculough's Christianity: the First 3000 years and I want to raise the issue of how we have perceived Christ in the past 100 years. The feast of Christ the King was not promoted until the Vatican was beginning to lose its territory in the 1800. Sooo, I want to talk about how we view Christ as the leader, and therefore how we go about choosing leaders in the Church and in society at large.

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    1. Great plan for preaching! I hope you recover from your feast soon!

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  12. I have a fair chunk of my sermon already done, as we are driving home from a week's vacation today and I didn't want to be worrying the whole way (although now that older son has his license, we have two other drivers for the trip, so I really could write in the car the entire time). I am up earlier than anyone else to write a bit more and then go running...another thing I know I won't want to do when we get home.

    I am looking at the arc of the next five weeks--CTK to Christmas--and the contrast between king and baby. I realized that the proximity of those two is why I love this season; I need to know that God is both big and small/human, and this reminds me of both in a compact time frame.

    One of my favorite sermons from the past was on CTK also; interesting that that is true for a number of us. Alas, I have used it sustainably in this congregation before and the image is memorable enough not to be able to reuse it. If any of you are familiar with the National Cathedral...it is a reflection on the journey from creation in the tympanum over the front doors to Christ reigning in glory at the end of time above the high altar, and all the life that occurs in-between as one traverses the body of the cathedral. First wrote it after a week there at the College of Preachers :-)

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    1. I miss the College of Preachers..sigh...sounds like a great illustration! Safe travels.

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    2. Thank you for naming that "inclusio" of the CTK-Christmas season. I hadn't really named how important that big and small is for my own faith until you mentioned it, but you put your finger right on it. Thank you.

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  13. Stayed up late last night trying to get a sermon finished, got stuck, then spent the rest of the night fretting in my half-sleep. Not helped by the almost-3 year old waking out of a sound sleep with shrieks, not once but 3 times. Sigh. Exhausted.

    We are attending a HUGE wedding this afternoon, so have to get myself and two girls primped and cute-ified. That will take more work for me than for them!

    The sermon is on Christ the king, and is a smushed up mess of history, the John text, the 2 Samuel text, the "Unclouded Day" song, and eschatology. I think the song got me off track, but I have to keep it, because that's the title AND we're singing it by my special request. One of those things that sounded good at the time...

    I likely won't have time to get back to it till after we come home from the reception, so it will be another late night.

    I have lemon chess pie to share (I think it's a Southern thing, kind of a lemony-custardy buttermilk pie thing).

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    1. I'll be here in the late night, too, as I make my tweaks (and hopefully not totally rewrite) my own sermon for tomorrow.

      Pie me, please!

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  14. I'm taking a mini-vacation this week - 3 days offs, worship tomorrow and then the rest of the day and Monday off. So I went with Martha's celebration of the liturgical year service - Thanks again Martha. It's so nice to not have to worry about a sermon for tomorrow.

    Today is dedicated to decorating the tree, making gumbo, and doing some beading. And keeping an eye on the sick dog - I really need to learn to not give into sad puppy eyes when I'm giving the cat a people food treat. His turkey giblet snack did not agree with him at all!!


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    1. I can't wait to try Martha's service maybe next year!

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  15. The house is clean, the dogs walked, the chores done. Guess I have to get down to work. Early in the week, I read an angry editorial on the op ed page written by a former neighbor (one of the angriest families I've ever encountered). His toxic editorial, "I've earned my right to be angry" has stayed with me all week long. I've heard Christ the King in counter-point to "I've earned my right" and Black Friday and bullies all week long. Now trying to figure out how it all goes together.

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    1. Oh, I think it's going to go together powerfully when you get there!

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  16. One more thought: Maybe at the cusp of the year it would be a good idea for me to re-read Mark in order to see his answer to the question implicit both in the day and in the gospel selection.

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    1. I just did that, Alli - or rather I reread my sermon for Advent 1 and the summary I gave then about the Gospel of Mark. One thing I said is that Mark may be addressing the question, "Where do we find God?" - perhaps wondering where we find God might be a counter to earning one's right to anger, Black Friday, and bullying?

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  17. Well, after an excruciating couple of hours I have a draft. I need to take a break because the end is really muddled....(like my head)...I hope you all are having an easier time than I...I think I need food. What to feed a cold? Soup, I think. Anyone else?

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    1. Yes, soup! Honestly, my other favorite thing for a cold is bourbon, but I wouldn't advise that till the sermon is done!

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    2. Bourbon? I never drink the stuff, but I swear, last night I truly wished I had something like that in the house - I think it would have felt soothing on this throat...a glass of wine didn't do the trick and just tasted funky through the stuffy nose. :-)

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  18. Terri, I'm sending some chicken tortilla-ish soup your way. Broth, veggies, chicken, plenty of cumin. Sure to cure you!

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    1. Sounds as if you need a stiff hot toddy!

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    2. Esperanza - oh YUM! I LOVE chicken tortilla soup - thank you!

      Pat, a hot toddy would be soothing for my sore throat...

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  19. finished and posted here Now to fix some lunch and back into the breech of trying to unpack what is in the garage. UGH

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  20. Terri, hope you found something delicious for cold soothing purposes. Would you care for some miso soup? I could whip some up?

    Otherwise, I have a giant pan of butternut/carmelized garlic lasagna leftovers...anyone interested?

    I'm working on my sermon but it's not feeling particularly "personal" at all--I need to find a way to make it real rather than abstract. I have too many words and not enough "grace" at this point. Hopefully over the next pot of tea I'll get it figured out.

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    1. Joy, miso soup is one of my favorite soups - that would be soothing. I had to settle for a can of veggie-barley soup. It was okay! I do think I am going to make a black bean chicken chili for tomorrow...

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    2. It's funny. I"m a very wordy/Wordy pastor, but lately I have become VERY TIRED of words. It struck me in the middle of an installation service recently. It was a beautiful service and all of that, but my GOSH! There were a LOT of words. They are exhausting me lately. I'm trying to figure out what it means to preach and/or worship with a few less words. I have no idea what that will look like or how it will feel to others, but I need it.

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    3. Stephanie, I know how you feel - I get that way too. Tired of words. Usually that is when I know I need a silent retreat. Then I go off and spend a day or two coloring mandalas and knitting and listening to wordless music. Preaching with fewer words could be amazing - building in some silence? building in some time for art or music? or just make the sermon shorter? (I usually opt for making the sermon shorter...)...

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    4. I agree. There are days when I want to suggest we all simply sit in quiet for a while. Of course, I have not thought to carefully about whether that occurs right before the sermon on days when I have no confidence in my sermon...

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  21. After I make some bourbon whipped cream (and really, why have I not made that before now???) I will be writing a sermon on Christ the King. But I have ditched the texts and gone to Philippians 3:4-14.
    Will be talking about tending the flame and not worshipping the ashes. How do we move into the future with hope, seeking Christ, even when being from the Tribe of Benjamin doesn't have the meaning it used to have.
    I have a liturgy we'll be using too, where we claim what we have lost, call it 'rubbish' and then claim Jesus. So it is a little bit of me, a lot of Paul, and some REM (losing my religion).

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    1. Marci, sounds like you have a plan!

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    2. My brother-in-law made it, and it is divine. I'm positive.

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    3. Yes. i did some work on it before family arrived here for Thanksgiving. And then I let it percolate this week. It is finished now.
      But instead of having another bourbon (my substitute since I didn't have the whipped cream!) I will practice my cello. Because somehow I volunteered to play in worship tomorrow. Why do I do that???

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  22. Bourbon whipped cream sounds good with or without anything to put it on... I have been feeling a bit low as the attendance has dipped low...It is so hard not to get frustrated and wonder what I am doing wrong. My worship team assures me it is not me, but how can one not wonder?
    Anyway I haven't done stations for a bit and folks have mentioned that its been awhile so tomorrow it's worship stations. (The benefits of a smaller congregation...)
    I just finished the Keynote (Powerpoint for mac) and that took as long as a sermon but is such a different adventure that I really enjoy the change. I went in yesterday and set up almost everything so I am going to take the rest of today off!!!

    Blessings to all and I will be back to read later.

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    1. Nancy, What Pat Raube said...been there too, most difficult to keep up the morale .....prayers for you...

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    2. I've also been there, and I know the discouragement. Much peace and power to you!

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    3. Ditto the hugs, ditto the "been there." I'm having the same discouragement over stewardship and finances these days. We have similar numbers, if not growth, but less and less giving. The story/quesetion I keep telling/asking is "Do they think what I'm doing is not worth much?" Horrible. I know, but seemingly impossible to avoid.

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  23. Nancy: a hug to you. We have all been there. It can be incredibly disheartening. Praying that you find renewal and encouragement in the Word, and that God might continue to bless the people through your tender-hearted ministry, as well as to bless you through theirs.

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  24. Okay, I have moved the ball forward and passed it back to the husband for his next turn. Whew! I think we are maybe 2/3 of the way done with a draft. He has compared this way of working to taking turns being up with the baby. It's kind of intense, but at least we are each getting nice chunks of breaks! And thank goodness for local family who are hosting our kids today!

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    1. I feel like that move the ball forward metaphor for sermon writing fits my solo writing process. It should not be so.

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  25. Home from some time at the clay studio with the kids and my sister-in-law, lunch with all of us, husbands, and some out of town friends, and shopping at some favorite local shops. Now it's time for football!!

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  26. My sermonic question this week is "How do we know" Do we know Jesus directly or merely because of what others have told us?

    The problem is I am unsure what my answer (personally) is....

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    1. Gord, I guess the answer to that question depends on how one knows Jesus. For example, if one knows Jesus as love and compassion in the world, then there could be countless ways of knowing Jesus...

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    2. I think I'm a "because of what other have told us" but I don't think that's a "merely." It's the power of witness and the communion of the saints in my mind.

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    3. And, Gord, there is comfort in the fact that we are known by Jesus even when we are not sure how or if we know him.

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  27. Well, here it is....Christ the King: Expressing God's love in a diverse world

    seriously, I titled it that way....

    Good thing I don't have to title my sermons for the church bulletin...Lol

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    1. I pretty much hate the ending, but I think it's all I've got in me at this point in time...suggestions welcome if you are so inclined (like you don't have your own sermon and ending to deal with...lol)

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    2. Good sermon but that title would never fit on our marquee!

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  28. Good evening preachers! Back safe home again after my week in VT. Breakfast at a favorite place with family and then five hours on the road, got home about 2 hours ago, unpacked the car and everything but my big suitcase, checked the mail, went over to church to make sure everything is in order for tomorrow--and now I MUST finish the sermon. Hopefully it won't need too much more work...I'm tired and just want to chill. Being with my grandchildren is bliss but it means I never get to sleep past about 6:30 and I've pretty much gotten out of that habit.

    I was pretty happy to have an extra Sunday between Thanksgiving and Advent, but looking around my neighborhood and reading FB, I see that means that Christmas decorations are popping up EVERYWHERE a whole week before Advent even begins. I know traditions vary on this, but I still find it disconcerting--I'm an old holdout for no Christmas before at least Dec. 21 or so. Losing that one for sure.

    Wearing my new fingerless gloves as I type--they feel so GOOD. Who knew? Actually I think someone here clued me in to them for inside wear....

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    1. Where in VT were you? I was in Brownsville for the holiday.

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    2. I made some fingerless gloves at the end of winter last year and never really wore them. Our basement (where our TV room and bedroom are) is FREEZING. I use them when typing on the laptop or iPad and even when I'm sleeping because my hands get so cold in the night.

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  29. Uck, really wrestled with sounding too "preachy" this week...but here it is http://reverendjoy.blogspot.com/2012/11/when-we-are-kings-sermon-for-christ.html (you can click on my name to get there too).

    Just glad it's done...this was one of those beasts that just kept eating up my time!

    Otherwise, leftover T'giving lasagna (vegetarian) for those who want some!

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  30. Good evening all= Stephanie, thanks for hosting today.

    Started the day with a very chilly committal service for a very sweet saint who has been living with Alzheimer's for at least 9 years. Husband has been incredibly devoted. I worry about the many now empty hours. Service was yesterday all day with wonderful participation from 4 generations. They did her proud.
    Rest of the day has been the seemingly never-ending get the house ready to sell process. Are we the only ones who finally get around to fixing things just before we leave..? Among many projects, we have a 3 season room that in my mind was always meant to be a nice sunny spot to drink a cup of coffee and watch the squirrels. Instead it became the black hole for piles of stuff that never had a real home. As of day, it is the neat and clean room that I always saw in my mind. Of course we are leaving in less than a month.

    Speaking of leaving, I have serious short timers 5:30pm- No words. No energy. No motivation. On a good note- the meeting last week went well. Overwhelming support for moving ahead to deal with building issues. Going in , those of us who have worked hard on this project for a solid year had no idea if it would pass. One learning is might be that there a a few people whose voices are disproportionately heard and reacted to... Not mine to fix, but good for the church that there is a hopeful plan going forward.
    time to get to work. Apparently, these sermons do not write themselves.

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    1. So glad your leaving prep is going well. I know this time of rest will bless you when you get to it!

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  31. Good evening, everyone! Thanks for hosting today, Stephanie.

    I am late to the party because I just got home after dragging my feet to leave my extended family. It was the first Thanksgiving I have spent with them in years. It was very good. I did some writing related to the sermon, but not the sermon, and I am hoping to incorporate some things from a sustainable sermon. But as someone very wisely said up the thread somewhere: "These sermons don't write themselves." And what I have needs serious work!

    Celeste, I know what you are talking about! I hope you will be able to enjoy that room and the rest of your house for the time you have left there.

    My housemate left some delicious homemade tomato soup, so help yourselves to a mug of that.

    The best sermon diversion ever: I might get to Skype with my 2 year old grandson and his family in a little while!

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    1. Welcome, Sharon! We love some Skype/Facetime calls at our house, too!!!

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  32. My sermon this week is entitled "This Is Not The King You Were Looking For." That is about all I have done on my sermon, however, planning on talking about the understanding that the Jews and Pilate had about Jesus' kingship versus the kind of king Jesus was/is. I'm also pairing the Gospel with the story of Samuel and the people struggling with the idea that Israel needed a King. Since we went to visit in-laws for Thanksgiving, I don't have any deserts to share, but the bourbon whipped cream sounds quite tempting.

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  33. The thing about sustainable sermons, I'm realizing anew, is that six years later the context is totally different. I think I've updated and edited sufficiently...and this week, done is better than good, as my classmates used to say in seminary (about papers not sermons, but it fits this week!)

    Now for some dinner and downtime before sleep in my own bed for the first time in over a week.

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    1. I love that expression! It will go in my list of "encouraging words to live by at 11 p.m. on Saturday night."

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    2. I know what you mean about the change in context. I haven't really looked hard at my sustainable sermon yet, but I'm sure there will be some things that need to be tweaked. The good news is that the last time I preached this one it was a communion Sunday so I have a good 200-300 words (if not more) that can be added instead of just words that need to be changed. If there's a need I can frame it with the current context.

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  34. After devoting a lot of deep thinking to the John text to preach it this Sunday, I promptly had a quiet, laid-back, wonderful Thanksgiving and didn't think about preaching one. little. bit. Which is not really paying off right about now. Hoping I can recover some of those thoughts about Jesus and Pilate in time to craft some kind of sermon.

    Also, how is it that I have preached Christ the King years A and C three times each, and year B only once??? Although the notes from six years ago do have a Monty Python reference. So there's that.

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    1. Monty python? That would be enough for me at this point.

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  35. Oh, btw, I also have some turkey leftovers, but I think my contribution to the party will be leftover chocolate rum pecan pie.

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    1. Wait, forget Monty Python...I'll take a piece of that pie! Wow!

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    2. Chocolate rum pecan pie delivered in real life to my house and I'll write the sermon for you. Just sayin'.

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    3. I'll get right on that, She Rev!

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  36. I'm not thrilled with the sermon. I'm off lectionary for a series. The "outlines" that are supposed to be helpful aren't so helpful.

    But the pre-lit tree is up! That was well spent money! No decorations are on it yet but I still feel quite accomplished getting it set up.

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    1. I usually like putting the lights on the tree, but every year the pre-lit sounds better and better. I can't wait until the one we have falls apart!

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  37. Back from the wedding. Ceremony at 3:00. When the girls and I left at 6:30, still no supper served. Home for a somewhat late bedtime for them and back at the computer for me. It's been a long day, I'm needing a break from the kids, and I don't have much energy left for writing. Sigh.

    Pie sounds good.

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    1. Seems like weddings run late, dinner takes a long time to be served....so sorry it was fatiguing. Hope inspiration strikes.

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    2. I get the need for a break from the kids. The holiday week is wearing on our family.

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  38. sounds like a lot happening for people this weekend. I am home from Church and lunch, I leave in under 2 hours for Messy Church. so time to get all the bits and pieces together, and find the 'story' that I am telling. Which means find the page in the Messy Church book, and write it out in note form for me to use this afternoon. I am so blessed to have a few wonderful people who have arranged the past few Messy Church sessions, I just front up for my allocated tasks.
    Then a whole day off, before the ‘meeting’ week for the month rolls around.
    blessings on those still preparing,

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    1. Enjoy your Messy Church and especially your day off! Seeing you get to the other side first each week helps remind me that no matter what state my stuff is in right now (tonight a pretty good state), this too shall pass. Some nights I really need that message!

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  39. I should be writing, but instead my mind keeps drifting back to my four-year-old telling me this afternoon that he wished I wouldn't be a pastor anymore. The kid is notoriously fickle about such things and tomorrow will probably think it the best thing ever that I do what I do (if he thinks about it at all) - but today, it hurt my heart and tapped into all of my insecurities about trying to balance church and family life.

    I tried to explore where the comment came from, and he said he wanted me to sit with him in church. I told him I would sit with him in two weeks when the choir does their cantata, but of course two weeks is a lifetime away to a preschooler, and besides, he answered with, "Will you sit with me the WHOLE time?" and I had to admit that no, I would still have to be up front for part of it.

    Whatever he and I may need to work out, I still need to preach a sermon tomorrow. The 200 words I have on paper will not cut it. Must focus...somehow...

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    1. oh, that is tough. Ours are 5 and almost 3, so I can imagine. Blessings ~

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    2. So sorry for that stinger! Prayers for you all as you work it out when you get to work it out!

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  40. Almost an hour I've been sitting here and I've written 10 words.

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    1. Ten words on the sermon. I'm sure my total is more impressive if you count blog and facebook comments. :)

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  41. Got it hammered out. Preachy, wordy, maybe even yucky. I'll post a link after my writing partner smooths the edges of this crappy sermon. And I was so excited to finally like "Christ the King." Off to wild rice soup, a glass of wine and a piece of whole grain bread. Who knows--maybe I'll get up early and write a poem to Jesus standing bound before Pilate.

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  42. Much joy in getting home, copying my sermon from Notepad on my iPad into Word on my laptop (which counts words) and discovering I am further along than I thought! Not sure the content reflects that, but at least there are about 85% of the words I need on the page actually there.

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  43. It doesn't look like there's going to be a game night at our house tonight like I had hoped. We have one last night with our brother- and sister-in-law here, so I hoped we'd sneak something in. Everyone's dragging. Our 3 kiddos have been wired and fired up all weekend and it has wiped us all out. Football and knitting seem to be the order of the day.

    I know a few are still up writing! Do you need anything? Real or virtual? I think I'll probably start working on a children's sermon as back-up tomorrow. There's a young lady on as the volunteer, but she has missed her turn like 3 out of the last 4 times, but at 24 years of age I refuse to call and remind her when it's her turn. I could prove the point even more by having nothing in place as back-up, but I don't want the kids to miss out at the expense of a lesson for her.

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  44. It's just going to be short. It's missing a real world illustration of any kind, but my brain is not coming up with anything at this point. I doubt anyone will complain about the length. Kind of suspecting that a friend and her husband will be there, as a not-really surprise, as they will be near our town in the morning.

    Betsy--I just did the calculation (well, the calculator did), and I'm at 80% of my usual length. Maybe you're done too!

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  45. I did not preach last week so it is nice to check back in with RevGals! I got sidetracked tonight on the Carnival Cruise website instead of working on my sermon.

    I am preaching from the Samuel passage and the John passage. "Occupy Advent" Facebook page has a great post about Christ the King Sunday. David Lose as well.

    Blessings to all. I am so grateful for the few days of rest over Thanksgiving. It is delightful. Although our fridge crashed on Thursday and we lost all our good Thanksgiving leftovers! Most of the pecan pie had been consumed but the cheesecake was not safe to eat.



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    1. Ooh, that Occupy Advent post is very helpful, thanks RevKel! (and I'm sorry you lost your cheesecake and other leftovers! but better that than food poisoning.)

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  46. Every time I preach, I'm reminded of the song, "I get by with a little help from my friends." Fixed up and preachable. It's a sermon Good night all.

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  47. I have wrestled a sermon onto paper. It's not impressive but it is done. Everything is printing now. I'm glad that bed is in my near future! Blessings on your Sunday!

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  48. Sounds like most folks are finishing up. My husband and houseguests have gone to bed, so I'm doing my read through that will tell me what I need to tweak and add in the morning. I don't think it will be much.

    Blessings on any who are still up working.

    Peace to you when you finally get to rest.

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  49. It's 8 am, just finished the sermon and prayers and all the other Sunday morning stuff. On this Christ the King Sunday I ponder what the world would be like if Christ WAS our King, with focus on today as INternational Day for the Elimination of Violence Against Women. It's posted at http://tinyurl.com/buxyylt

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  50. Thanks for the recommendation. We will continue to reflect (hopefully in a way that provides some homiletical insight) on Advent on twitter, our blog, and on facebook.

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