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Friday, January 25, 2013

11th Hour Preacher Party: Preacher Sabbath Edition

I was lamenting earlier this week on the Narrative Lectionary Facebook wall that the only downfall I've experienced while following that schedule of readings is being out of sync with my sisters and brothers over here at the RevGals and Pals. Everyone is gracious, of course, but I miss the community of discernment when I'm on a totally different passage than most everyone else.

Community is important to me which is why I always start to get nervous when discussions of sabbath-keeping come up. (It's come up for me this week since my preaching text is Luke 6:1-16.) It seems too me that many sabbath discussions I have been a part of in recent months or a couple of years seem to focus on solitude, quiet, and individual reflection. I guess I have fallen off the introvert-extrovert fence squarely on the side of extrovert because that description of sabbath sound downright miserable to me. Instead I love this image of a orthodox Jewish sabbath or the image I see in my own community on pleasant Saturdays when the Messianic Jewish congregation breaks between morning and evening worship. Small groups from the congregation break off and take slow, purposeful walks together, talking about Scripture, their lives, and the world around them. They aren't in a hurry to get anywhere. They aren't rushing to the next activity. The sabbath day exists for them to be present, in community, a part of the people of God. I love it.

Sabbath is hard for pastors to observe. That's a sad understatement, but we know it's true. We know that Saturday is RARELY the sabbath for most of us who show up at this party, but I pray as I think about the day that is for saving life that all of us are cultivating the observance of sabbath.

As you are thinking about your sermon and your responsibilities for worship this weekend, if you have a moment or two, think also about how you will observe the sabbath, in some way, this week. Join our party in the comments and, if you can think of one, share one favorite sabbath practice.

124 comments:

  1. Have a blessed weekend and Sabbath. I understand your point about spending relaxed time in company with believers.

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  2. I'm attempting to write on Friday night (ha! we see how that's going!) so I can do birthday party prep tomorrow night.

    I'm trying to put the Luke and Nehemiah texts together, how they both depict reading and interpreting Scripture in community and in the context of worship. Not so far from your Sabbath musings, Stephanie.

    Question for you Presbyterian types: isn't there something in the confessions or somewhere that says Presbyterians read and interpret Scripture in community??? It's in my memory but I can't find it written down anywhere. Anyone have any idea what I'm talking about? I would much appreciate it.

    At this point, I have some unfrosted, undecorated chocolate birthday cake and cupcakes to share. Don't eat too many, though!

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    1. Not sure if this is what you are looking for but from "A Brief Statement of Faith":
      The same Spirit
      who inspired the prophets and apostles
      rules our faith and life in Christ through Scripture,
      engages us through the Word proclaimed,
      claims us in the waters of baptism,
      feeds us with the bread of life and the cup of salvation,
      and calls women and men to all ministries of the church.

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  3. Stories is now posted. I am preaching tomorrow in a congregation I know a little about, in my role as Chairperson of Presbytery.

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  4. I have dear clergy friends who very intentionally do not attempt to have Sabbath on Saturday because even when there is a miracle and the sermon is finished earlier in the week, all too often, there are church activities obligating them to work on Saturday. Some set aside Friday or Monday to at least some Sabbath keeping (like the part of the day when kids are in school). Which goes against the community part of Sabbath keeping of which you speak but it does give them some intentional quietness and slowness to the rush, rush, rush that seems to invade everything.

    Speaking of full Saturdays, I have one! So I'm reviving my blogger identity for at least occasional appearances to use the subscribe by email feature that is so handy when one is out and about following via the phone!

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    1. Glad to have you on a busy day! Friday is my day off for sure, but I don't consider it my sabbath. I think Sunday is my sabbath and I'm OK with that.

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  5. I'm very excited about my sermon for tomorrow, something I haven't felt in weeks. It occurred to me that Mrs. Jenkins in the Call the Midwife Christmas special represents the poor, the captive, the person who has lost her vision and, most emphatically, the oppressed, so she is front and center in my Luke 4 sermon. Lots of storytelling, as I'm sure no one in my congregations has seen the series, which (the storytelling) makes me happy, as does this year's endless opportunities to focus on social justice in a congregation entirely wrapped up in personal salvation.

    Last night and today, I'm at a John Addison Dally workshop on Lukan themes for Lent -- http://www.ceirs.org/programs.html -- which is excellent. His focus is Meals and Memory, so I'm sure that those words will show up here again.

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    1. Yay for all the above, Robin!

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    2. John Dally was my preaching teacher in seminary. He's fabulous. You'll have a full rich experience, I suspect. If I'd known, I would have tried to come down for this...even though tomorrow is our annual meeting....

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    3. It was really excellent.

      Themes for the Lukan Lent:

      Meals and memory.

      "I will raise up for you a prophet like Moses."

      The poor and oppressed, of course.

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    4. I remember the pastor in my college church always said "Luke is just one dinner party after another." I'm always looking for the meals.

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  6. Oh, and I have given up on Sabbath as a concept for an entire day. It made me feel tense and guilty ALL the time. So for now I am practicing chunks of Sabbath time here and there during the week.

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    1. Exactly!

      Sabbath in chunks is better than no Sabbath time at all.

      And nobody should "should" on us for it!

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    2. This resonates. I'm not sure how I feel about it yet, though.

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  7. I am working on a sermon today, too--likely most of the day, between child-entertainment spurts. I'm preaching on Monday, though, not Sunday, at the seminary where I work. It's not going well. At all. Though I can't get any help on this one (it's daily lectionary, not weekly) via the preacher party, I'll pop back in because anxiety loves company, right?

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    1. We definitely love each other in our anxiety!!!! Pop on in again soon!

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  8. Getting my ducks in a row...so to speak. After worship tomorrow I leave for the airport so I can fly out a dark-six-thirty-am on Monday morning for a Committee on Ministry training event.

    Got the sermon done yesterday...except it needs an ending. I used Luke and I Corinthians together.

    I've been trying to incorporate some interactive (something more than just sitting and listening) so I have large bright colored puzzle pieces. I will be asking them to write down the gifts they have to offer the church. If their answer is "I don't know"...that is a good answer for them.

    The other thought I am introducing: Do our gifts need to be released...as in the Luke passage...do our eyes need to be opened to our gifts...

    We will see how it goes.

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    1. Interesting idea! Like the puzzle idea a lot.

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    2. Have you been to the COM training event before? Good stuff.

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    3. Stephanie, it will be my first time. The moderator accepted a new call and I was elected to be the new moderator. I am looking forward the new moderator's part as well as the other stuff.

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  9. Good morning, RevGals! I'm preaching Nehemiah tomorrow and looking forward to it - what a gorgeous text! I preached this text last week for my DMin preaching class (The Preacher and The Poet, awesome class). Some of the meat of that sermon will be fodder for this sermon, but since that sermon was preached to preachers and this will be preached to my congregation, it's not something I can reuse wholesale. Which is fine, because I have other things I want to say about this text to my congregation.

    Have I mentioned that I love this text?! I do!!!

    A couple of things I want to mention that I haven't seen mentioned elsewhere, for anyone else who is preaching it. After the people here the Torah read for six hours straight, their response is to weep. Every interpretation I have read of this gives some reason why they are weeping (they feel guilty! they realize how far from the law they have been! they recognize the gulf between themselves and God! etc!). While any or all of those may be true (and in chapter 9 they do make a corporate confession), the text doesn't actually say why they are weeping. For me, that was a significant point of entry into the text.

    The other thing is that this story marks the beginning of the people becoming "People of the Book," at least according to my notes on post-exilic OT from a DMin class I took last January. I haven't read that anywhere else so far, but it has seemed significant to me.

    FWIW!

    Now, I hope I can buckle down and get this done. I am parenting solo today, trying to bounce back from a stomach bug, and still get the house back in order after travels and a kitchen/basement flood. I would like to get the sermon wrapped up and then tend to family/household needs. Happy to be partying with y'all! Blessings on everyone's work!

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    1. Thank you! Both of those are helpful items. I'm wondering about People of the Book and the King Josiah reforms, but I can go check that out myself, I guess!

      And stomach bug, basement flood, and parenting solo is not a good trio!

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    2. I'm glad to be helpful! I know next-to-nothing about the King Josiah reforms, but hope you find the info you need!!

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    3. We were wondering (lightheartedly) at bible study this week if the weeping was because their feet were tired, they were hungry and they had to the bathroom...

      Srsly, would love to hear more about your point of entry for this - I'm just starting and got nothing yet.

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    4. I love this text, too!! It's going to be great to see where everyone ends up.

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    5. Jennifer, I would be crying, too, if I had to stand for 6 hours listening to someone read the Bible!!

      Where I connected personally with the text on the whole weeping thing was over the fact that sometimes tears are your response to something, whether there is a "reason" or not. It doesn't have to be regret, or guilt, or grief, or even sadness. It can just be. Tears can just be! There doesn't have to be an explanation. It makes sense to me that they listened and they cried, it can make sense for all kinds of reasons, and if I can keep from trying to explain THE reason for these particular tears, then, from my perspective, it seems to open the text up for more people to connect to it. So I start my sermon from a place of exploring unexpected tears, unexplained tears, and our experience with that, and then I move into the story from there.

      FWIW.

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    6. LOL, Jennifer! You're at least partially right, I'm sure!

      I'm starting (er, this may or may not be all I have written) with how I like to read, why we read, how we read together...mmm...something like that.

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    7. earthchick, I like that - thank you! I'm doing a kind of Bible 101 thing - more "teachy" than I usually go, but it seems timely for where we are at. I like this way of thinking about tears, though and now wishing I was going in a different direction.

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  10. My third Sunday into serving this church, and it seems a little audacious to boldly declare, with the epistle reading, that We Are One Body...so that's exactly what I'm doing, with a bit of a twist. I'm using Terry Tempest Williams' book, "Finding Beauty in a Broken World," which is centered on the image of a mosaic. As the title indicates, it's the very brokenness and imperfections of the glass tiles--and the gaps between them--that allow the light to play so beautifully upon them and within them. So we are one body in the same way that a mosaic is one incarnational image, made up of shards and fragments, held in the play of God's light.

    Whew! Now I've got to go turn in my co-op seed order for the farm--a big one this year--and tweak the rough draft of my contract so I can send it back to the trustees and get it signed! God may be the light on my imperfect surface, but I think these nitty-gritty details must be the grout!

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    1. What a wonderful image!! Thanks for sharing it. I need to look for that book.

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    2. I was thinking of using excerpts from that book too - which I LOVE...

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    3. But I didn't end up using any, this time. Have before and will again...

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    4. I love mosaic images. We have made a few mosaics in worship in the past that I like to bring out several times throughout the year. There was a novel by Stephanie Kallas called "Broken For You" that is pretty amazing. Another time, for another sermon, read it. I can't say too much more or I will give away the whole thing.

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  11. Good morning! I got this posted a bit early last night because I was working from the app and couldn't figure out how to schedule it. Now I'm going to cash in on some of my earliness and be absent for a little. We have tickets to see the Chinese terracotta warriors at the art museum this morning, so I'm heading out with the family for a while.

    Looks like some are off to great starts, and the party will hopefully be a place for the Holy Spirit to nurture us all. I will return in the afternoon and look forward to seeing how everyone's doing.

    A little sabbath talk from me - - I think Sunday is my sabbath even though it is "work." I think there are times that I work less (usually proportionate to the amount of work I do to get ready - - preparing for the sabbath)

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    1. I've been rethinking the idea of Sunday as my Sabbath, too, even though it's "work." Yes, it's work, but it's also worship and community - and I think you're right that often our focus on Sabbath neglects the communal aspect. Marva Dawn actually has a lot to say about this- I think it's in her book A Royal 'Waste' of Time: The Splendor of Worshiping God and Being Church for the World. I notice that she also has a book I haven't read that looks apropos: The Sense of the Call: A Sabbath Way of Life for Those Who Serve God, the Church, and the World. Going on my reading list ASAP!

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    2. Put that one a wish list. Thanks for the heads up!

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  12. tomorrow is our annual meeting. I have spent a number of weeks putting together a "Keynote" (like Powerpoint but on my iPad) presentation of photos of our life in community in 2012. It's a fun way to celebrate and remove some of the business bleh of the annual meetings which seem to be the tradition here (that and no one comes because of previous experiences with tension)...So - working on creating a new tone.

    Also need to say something short in my homily tomorrow. Working off of Nehemiah and Luke, considering the idea of community and what does it mean to serve the poor - who are the poor? With the idea that "we" get stuck on thinking that the poor are those other people who have less than we do - but in reality we too are poor in spirit - something that will become a reality to us, I think, as we learn more about our delegations trip to Liberia. There the people are poor in resources but RICH in SPIRIT!

    Actually. I have no idea exactly where I am going with this little reflection. sigh.

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    1. Love the slideshow. Our annual meeting is pretty simple. Nothing to it, but electing officers, maybe a minor budget presentation. I always wonder if I should do something more, but feel ridiculously silly doing some sort of "state of the union" address. I do that every week! A picture slideshow could be fun. It would be better if we were good at taking pictures of events, but it could be a start this year. I think people appreciate that our meeting isn't super long and cluttered up, but something like this would be simple.

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    2. I also begin our annual meeting (tomorrow) with a slideshow that I have put together. It's a great way to recognize the incredible amount of wonderful ministry that has happened over the past year. I just put the finishing touches on it. And I'm off to start packing for the BE. I'm hoping the weather isn't as awful as predicted tomorrow. I don't want to slide the 90 miles to Milwaukee on the ice that is suppose to be coming. And I don't have that much extra time to get to the airport from church! Traveling mercies to all who are en route tomorrow.

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  13. I'm in the midst of a family crisis - my son came home Wednesday night and asked to be taken to the ER because of suicidal thoughts. And in this part of the country, that means a trip to the City. So we've been back and forth every day to visit. Diagnosis, depression, and he's started meds. He's safe and doing pretty well all things considering. Mom's not doing so well. It has only been a few years since we went through this with his sister, and it was a terrible, prolonged experience for all of us. I can't help but relive some of the fears and anxiety.

    I took this weekend off - there's no way I'm emotionally up to being in the pulpit.

    This weekend, the time I spend here will be my Sabbath, and the wisdom and insights of the community will be my contemplation of the Word of God. Thank you for that.

    And thanks for being a safe place for me to share. We're fiercely protective of our children's privacy, so we have not released any information to the congregation yet other. I'm in contact with my bishop and my mentor, learning to navigate family crisis in ministry. When we went through this with our daughter, we were still in the safety of seminary.

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    1. Oh, Ramona, prayers for you and your family! I'm so glad your son has gotten help - how good that he was able to tell you what was going on and ask to be taken to the ER. But I know this must be so hard on a mama's heart, especially since you've been through this before. Good for you for taking time away from work this weekend. Good Sabbath to you, and may you find yourself and your family in the palm of God's hand.

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    2. Many prayers for your son and your whole family. It sounds like you are doing what you need to do to take care of yourself. Much peace to you.

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    3. This is close to my heart as we are working through this with someone near and dear to us. Prayers...

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    4. Ramona, been there too. Such a difficult world for our young people. Praying for you, your son, your family. I'm glad you took the weekend off for some sabbath time rest.

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    5. Oh Ramona, been there & done that more than once. I'm thankful that he spoke up, and that you have care providers that could get treatment started. Hang in there, Mama. Prayers rising

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    6. So very glad he spoke up, Ramona.

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    7. Holding all of you in the light of God's healing love. You have all you need to do this.

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    8. Holding you in prayer, Ramona, with all the others.

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    9. Late to the party, but lifting up the prayers nonetheless.

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    10. Prayers from my corner of the world on behalf of you and your family. Peace and wisdom in the midst of the turmoil.

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    11. Praying here too.

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  14. I have a draft. How did that happen? It just kind of poured out of me. Nothing particularly creative but fitting for the occasion - our annual meeting day.

    I hope the rest of you are coming along.

    Now, what to do with the children?

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    1. Must be something in the air of southeast Michigan - I have a draft, too, wheeee!

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    2. yay! maybe it's the sun shining...the air is so COLD!

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    3. Nice work, sisters!!!! (I've got nothing, but that's normal. A little nervous since I have a lot of things I think I want to say tomorrow, but not much structure. I need structure.)

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  15. I wrote a reflection on the NT passages - When One Suffers We All Suffer. Same caveat as last week. I'm not preaching, just reading and reflecting on the Lectionary to stay in sync with my preaching friends. :)

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    1. LOVE! It strikes me - no wonder we are so oblivious to others' internal pains and/or burdens... How can we be good human beings, much less good Spirit-filled beings, to others without using our physical and spiritual senses to experience them as real people with real lives and real needs, hopes, joys?

      How much of the injustice (large and small) that we see is symptomatic of the illness of isolation?

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    2. Thank you for sharing your reflections!

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    3. Thank you Deb--your reflections really opened some doors for me as I was sermonizing!

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  16. I had a goal of having a draft done by noon, and I somehow managed to make it so, with 12 minutes to spare. Yeehaw. On now to tend to the children and the house, and then get to work on Church School and youth group. I'll revisit the sermon draft later today, hoping I continue to feel all right about it - I always doubt myself when I'm done this early!!

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  17. Preaching at 2 locations tomorrow and haven't had time to do much of anything with the text yet. I like the idea of Jesus announcing his ministry... what he is setting out (sent!) to do; we are then gifted as a body to continue that ministry. Not all of us are healers, not all of us are teachers, not all of us are prophets, but together we are commissioned to go, do, heal, teach, love as Jesus did. Something along those lines. But first, still more erranding this mid-day. Ugh. Perhaps in the car the Spirit will speak?

    Thanks for posting already Deb and others. When I get to sit down again, I'll be taking a look to start steeping a bit!

    Blessings, all!

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    1. My mom booked tickets for me to come that way in mid-April. I'm coming sans-kids, so I might actually have time for a meet-up sometime. It's a ways away, but I just thought of it.

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  18. I have a children's story too, set in context and emailed to the worship leaders to supplement their work and connect it to the reading in church. so. now what?

    Exercise, I think. Something cardio, but low impact. And maybe some yoga.

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  19. So I posted mine, even though it is a little "teachy" and pertains mostly to our annual meeting and some projects we are working on....I'm calling it tending too

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  20. I've made very little progress, chased a few rabbits. My anxiety over the to-do list is a bit crippling today, and making me not such a pleasant person to be around. Sigh.

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  21. Wow! I'm back. Sorry for the lapse. We had a great family trip to the art museum then out for Chinese for lunch. It was thematic, and, in my head, my birthday celebration even if no one else in the family knew that. Fun afternoon!

    Heading back up through the party to see where everyone is!

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  22. I am really bummed out by all the CLUTTER at church lately, but now am thanking whatever VBS it was that made the cardboard Ark and spraypainted it gold because I'm going to get that out tomorrow, blow 25 years worth of dust off of it and use it as the basis for the childrens time. Will probably work Indiana Jones into it somehow.

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    1. Indiana Jones - - At Bible study Thursday we got on the topic of the Ark of the Covenant. When talking about how it got lost, someone asked, "So, it was never found?" I said, "Not until Indiana Jones came on the scene." I crack me up.

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    2. You crack ME up too. Irony, it's we Gen Xers gift to the world :)

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  24. Good afternoon preacher! I am late to the party today, and late to begin writing, but it is what it is. Long meeting with the wardens this morning, and now trying to focus on texts.

    Some of you know that my mother died last Sunday morning; I got the message in between services, so the second service was a bit rough. I thought I was going to be okay--I'd been waiting for the call for a couple of days-- but I started crying during church, and it was hard, hard, hard. And then I had to pack and go to a three day board meeting in NYC. Which gave me something positive to focus on, so good, but was also exhausting. The funeral won't be until April to allow for the family to travel from all up and down the east coast to NC, and I am planning and officiating (at least part of it) at my mother's request. Which was a surprise b/c she had previously not wanted me to play any sort of clergy role but she specifically told my sister and my daughter that she wanted me to do it. And that is a gift in a way because she had decidedly mixed feelings about my ordination.

    Anywho, not feeling the preaching this week but need to get back in the game. When I preached this text three years ago, I was just a few months into this call and still optimistic about where we were headed. Now, I am struggling with a shrinking and passive aggressive congregation who is not happy with much of anything I do (many of them, anyway). The first time I talked about Jesus' mission statement and ours, and I'm thinking of revisiting that from a different perspective. We'll see how it turns out.

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    1. That's a lot going on! And here I am whining in my head because I just can't seem to get focused long enough for this sermon to come together. I suspect my reticence has to do with not knowing either of the congregations I'm visiting this week.

      I'll be up late tonight and will check back in to see if you need company!

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    2. Prayers for light-ening of your heavy heart. Sorry that so much is happening that's so hard.

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    3. Hang in there with the congregation. Passive aggressive is so hard to work with.

      What a lovely gift your mother gave you. Holding you and your family in the warmth of God's light.

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    4. I am so very sorry about your loss, the timing, and the so much all at once. It IS an extraordinary gift to you that she wants you to officiate at her service. What a bond stretching between heaven and earth.

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  25. And today's random question: Anyone remember seeing a movie a while back that had a scene with a guy reading from a Bible at a picnic table - a goat climbs up on the table and the guy says "no, no, don't eat the Word..." That's all I can remember. Documentary? Maybe early 1990's?

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    1. BTW, I've googled this and I got nothing....

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  26. How's it going, gals and pals? We've had a nice long couch time in our house, but I think it's time for me to go upstairs. My husband has plans to take down the baby's crib and put up the middle child's new bed. It's 5:00 p.m. and that's a lot of Ikea to think through before bedtime. God help us.

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    1. When I moved to California for seminary I went to IKEA to purchase a desk-type unit. A good friend drove out with me and she swore...literally...at the instructions IKEA gives. And she is mechanically inclined. Good luck! :-)

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    2. I just sort of hang in the other room until I'm needed to hold something. Not much swearing yet!

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  27. Outstretched in prayer for ramona & RevDrMom... may you find the grace, the peace, and the words you need.

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  28. Miraculously (thank you Holy Spirit!) I have a draft in which I talk about Jesus giving us a mission and Paul reminding us that it take ALL of us with our unique gifts to live into that mission. Time to let it sit while I run to the store to get coffee hour supplies and maybe a quick trip to Starbux for me.

    Thank you for your prayers and support everyone. I treasure this community!

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    1. oh, I like that combination. And prayers from me as well. A Sunday morning phone call is my nightmare scenario.

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  29. Just beginning to think about "the word" for the Congregation of St. Martin's--the congregation of housed and homeless I serve every Sunday. Never a manuscript--always go with the flow and the crowd. Deb turned my eye to the Body of Christ--what a set of members of the one body. Should be fun.

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  30. Mine is up:

    http://www.metanoia-mrc.blogspot.com/2013/01/all-eyes-fixed-upon-him-luke-sermon.html

    I, too, was originally planning to talk about Jesus establishing our mission and all our gifts needed to accomplish same, cf. Rev Dr. Mom., but I got all wrapped up in Mrs. Jenkins.

    Maybe next week I'll do Part 2 of Luke along with Paul on love and not being a clanging gong who tries to shove Jesus off a cliff.

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  31. Most boring sermon ever. At least it isn't six hours long.

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    1. Not possible. I preached that one two weeks ago, and I'm still nervous about writing another one because of it. (I had last week off because of a guest preacher.)

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    2. oh, this one might give you some fierce competition!

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  32. But thanks for the giggle. I'm sure yours will be fine. It's my turn to be boring.

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  33. Checking in late. I've done everything else besides checking out what seemed earlier in the week to be a decent sustainable sermon.

    Fingers crossed on that.

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  34. I had an eventful day. One of the pipes at church burst, flooding the basement, etc. Not how I anticipated spending my day off. It is also my youngest's birthday. Preaching on 1 Cor and wondering how I cannot use the example of all the people who helped to deal with the water damage.

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  35. Sounds like a valid and timely illustration to me, Megan!

    Checking in here after a day spent doing a little of this, a little of that, a visit here, some phone calls there, but no sermon as of yet.

    It's our annual meeting too and I can't resist the chance to preach 1 Corinthians for that. Plus we are receiving new members, including a baptism, so that will be awesome. But now...the sermon...I hope!

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  36. Most boring sermon ever has been printed. On to birthday cake decorating. I'm supposed to put a cat on it. Other suggestions have included: Grover, dog, Baby Jesus, blanket (I was all for this one--I'm pretty sure I could make a birthday cake look like a blanket), but cat won out. Birthday girl is 3. She's highly suggestible. :)

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    1. Peace to you. As I told my husband tonight when I wasn't working on my sermon - - "There are more important things sometimes."

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  37. Mine is done and up: Wholeness.

    Now to finish packing for a training event (wishing it was for the BE event)

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    1. Thanks for sharing, and I'm sure you'll love walking on the lake!

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  38. Well, in the exact opposite of last week, it is now 10:30 and I have not yet begun my sermon.
    But I got a bit of packing done, had a great conversation with a good friend, and snuggled my little guy who is, once again, sick with a sinus/ear infection.
    So, I'll say it was a successful day...now off to sermonize!

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    1. Snuggling is always successful. I'm just getting started now, too. I just can't get into it.

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    2. I struggled and struggled, I think mostly because this is the penultimate sermon of my call here...I kept wanting it to be *perfect*.
      Tonight was a perfect example of "let go and let God" in my life. I relaxed and it all just kinda came. Can't say that it's my *best*, but it's certainly not my worst and the best that I've got tonight.

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    3. And that is all you need. It's 1:00 am here and I have next to nothing, but a gazillion thoughts in my head. Usually I make myself go to bed at midnight, but my basement bedroom is so cold, I haven't forced the issue yet. I think I need to now because I'm getting nowhere fast. I think I found a way in which is exactly what I needed. Now to go find the Little House on the Prairie book I need to get that illustration going. I'll find the book in my girls' room, lay it here on the desk, then go to bed. 5:00 a.m. sounds like a perfect time to write a sermon. (Again.)

      Delete
  39. Stephanie, you are not the only one messing with a sermon at 5:00 a.m.!

    Good morning!

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    Replies
    1. Good morning. I let myself sleep until 5:20 a.m. only to discover the kids also decided to wake up early this morning. My husband is playing in the bell choir at another church this morning and will be out the door pretty shortly to go rehearse before they're early service. This could end disastrously. Kids have been given stern warning to get along and not interrupt Mommy. We'll see how this goes. I've got two hours. GO!

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    2. Joining the early morning crowd as I struggle to put an ending on this darn thing. And hoping the kids are behaving, She Rev!

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  40. Uploading to Kindle now. Breathing again.

    SheRev and semfem, prayers for a smooth and satisfying ending to both of your sermons. We say and mean it: The Holy Spirit does have your back.

    Taking a moment to pray God's blessings on preachers and their congregations.

    What a great party it was, Stephanie!

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    Replies
    1. Thank you Sharon, and thanks She Rev for the great party!

      My sermon is done and will shortly be printing. It's not the greatest ending but I think it will have to do. Come Holy Spirit!

      Blessings on all pondering, preaching, and proclamation this day.

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  41. Half way done with plenty left to say. No problem at all unless I have TOO much to say. Oh well, at least the choir isn't singing today so I've got extra time for preaching.

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