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Saturday, April 13, 2013

11th Hour Preacher Party: Fish and Sheep and Nakedness! Oh my!

I'm not even using the RCL these days, but even still I can't let this gospel story go by without mentioning naked-Peter.  WHAT?!?!?!  I love that total randomness.

With that moment of immaturity out of the way, we continue.

The great feast days of Easter have passed, but Eastertide continues.  How are you continuing to proclaim the good news of the resurrection in your worship and preaching?

The Revised Common Lectionary is chock full of wonderful   post-resurrection passages.  The passage from John's gospel alone as countless points of entry - casting nets deep, Peter's sudden recognition of Jesus and bold decision to come to him, breakfast on the beach, declarations of love, and commands to "Feed my sheep."  So many ways that story can lead, as well as the conversion of Saul and the voices of angels from Revelation 5.  The Narrative Lectionary has churches looking at the call and death of Stephen.  And of course there are probably several of us going in entirely different directions.

Wherever the Spirit is leading you in your preaching, we're glad she brought you here to this sermon writing party.  The (virtual) food is always wonderful and the (very real) friends are even better.  Jump on into the water just like Peter (clothing optional since we can't see you - - Did I really just say that?  Oh yes, I did.) and join us in the comments.  We're here all day and night!


107 comments:

  1. Well, I must share...I just survived my first wedding rehearsal which consisted of 27 attendants.

    And I spent part of the night in the ER. I am co-officiating with a lay pastor who is a long time friend of the family and is a member of the church I serve. She fell down the steps leaving the rehearsal dinner...two gashes above her eye which will require stitches and they were going to do a CT as well. The family was insistent that I make the trip back to TRC (tiny rural community).

    Oh a sermon??? A hymn sing sure would have been a good idea. I am preaching the Acts passage on Saul/Paul and going with "Unlikely Heroes". I've got an intro...but that's it.

    The best news...vacation starts Sunday after an afternoon commitment (and if I get my packing done as well).

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    1. 27 attendants! I am praying, Please God let that never happen to me!

      Yay for vacation!

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    2. 27 attendants!?! I am with Robin. Please God No.
      Enjoy your much needed vacation !

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    3. 27! glad you survived! I thought 12 was a lot.

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    4. 27? I'm seeing a long line of bridesmaids, each wearing a different dresses...

      Praying energy for the wedding, and bliss for vacation!

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    5. It reminds me of the movie "27 Dresses" and there is a bit of truth in that. The bride could not make a decision on who to ask...she had been in all their weddings...has two sisters...you get the drift.

      Thankfully, once we got started they were very attentive and stayed on task. I was aiming for a 45 minute rehearsal and we out in 60 minutes.

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    6. I have a clergywoman friend who charges at any more than 3 attendants each. Each additional attendant is $50 fee for the pastor, which can be worked off by attending worship. Each time the couple attends worship, they get $25 knocked off their price. It encourages the couple to connect with the church, but seems a bit crazy, all the same.

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  2. Totally struggling with the RCL John 21 text this week. My first read of the text had me envisioning Peter swimming AWAY from Jesus because he was ashamed to see him. I think I'm preaching on second chances & over-the-top abundance. But I'm not sure yet.

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    1. Holding you in prayer as you wrestle with John. Sometimes the best sermons come out of those wrestling matches.

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  3. 27 attendants??!! Oh my.

    For once, my sermon is done on Friday night. That's because I am spending most of the day tomorrow interviewing aspirants for ordination, then coming home and heading right back out with my husband to drive a few hours to one of the most beautiful spots in the diocese, where I am guest preaching on Sunday. Our hosts are taking us out to dinner, and I was really motivated to be done so we could thoroughly enjoy the evening.

    I am focusing on the ordinariness, in a sense, of Jesus sitting on the beach bbq'ing and offering fishing tips. God doesn't often come to us in Damascus road moments; more often it is in little glimpses and ordinary life.

    Lots of fresh fruit around my household, so help yourself to some of the bounty. Blessings on all as you write and ponder.

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    1. I love your take on the beach bbq. Have wonderful day and evening!

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  4. I have spent the last week hosting the Bishop of Matabeleland (Zimbabwe) and his family and the happy spin off is that he will celebrate and preach tomorrow, so I'm out of it! It's been a wonderful week (even though I am coughing my lungs out and feeling awful) as the Bishop and I are old friends (he was my rector at one stage in Zimbabwe) and haven't seen each other for 10 years. The parish is really excited to be singled out to have a bishop visiting them -- this doesn't tend to happen in this poor and sidelined parish -- and even more excited by the fact that he's the tallest person they've encountered!

    Last week was holy humour and I used that St John Chrysostom sermon. Thanks Betsy - it went down very well indeed. They'd all forgotten to bring bells, so they whistled instead which I suspect was even better.

    I have hazelnut coffee and lots of red grapes to offer. . .

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    1. Enjoy your lovely "day off" and especially reconnecting with a friend. I've moved Holy Humor Sunday around a bit this year, so Ill have to go and find teh Chrysostom sermon you mentioned.

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    2. So glad the sermon went over well...and I can picture the whistling working wonderfully! We have a lot of people jingle keys. Once you get the momentum going on those words, it just carries itself.

      How neat for you to have the week with your friend and to get the bonus of no worries about tomorrow.

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    3. I LOVE the St. John Chrysostom sermon - have used it at the Great Vigil several times in my ministry - that night is a powerful occasion to share it. Still appropriate after all these centuries!

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  5. I just finished writing a memoir for a funeral and because I've spent so much time with the family this week, my dear husband and co-pastor is going to preach again this week. But I was loving the feed my sheep images going through my head earlier in the week.

    I've enjoyed some of the conversations on the FB page also. Hopefully there will be some more good images next week for me to grab hold of and I look forward to y'all's continued conversations this week and anticipate great conversations again next week.

    Oh I have some GF Cupcakes from my favorite cupcake place and I'd be willing to share with y'all. Also have some milk or soda.

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    1. How lovely to be abe to share duties like that. The good news is the story comes up again in 3 years? I'm sure the conversation will be good again next week. :)

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    2. Its truly a blessing for us to work together and to be able to lean in one another like that. There have been times when I'm so exhausted but think I need to preach (as I don't do it as often as he, mostly because I'm the pastoral care giver and quite frankly he can write better sermons quicker than) that he will write the sermon and ill preach and nobody knows. I am so thankful our ministry works like that. And yes the story will come up again in 3 years. Hope your prep is going well.

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  6. Not preaching but leading worship. I actually had to prep ages ago as our musicians are currently practicing on a Monday evening (!) and as i was away last weekend (and both preaching and giving a talk last Sunday) I did tomorrow's prep just after Easter Sunday.

    So that is where my head was and it shows in the running order. I figure that we are still in the Easter season and that every Sunday is a celebration of the Ressurection ! Have tried to do a mix of well loved hymns and contemprary stuff.

    Advantage is I'm good and ready. Disadvantage is that it is not entirely fresh in my memory, so need to print and read through later today.

    some rather nice espresso to share if anyone is in need !

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    1. Sometimes that early prep is hard. I find my direction changes a lot even just in two weeks. At least you're not just trying to work with a general outline and recreate a whole sermon plan. I find that even harder. Blessings on your day!!

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  7. Good morning - I usually lurk, but it is such a beautiful morning that I wanted to say hello and hopefully head out into my yard to do a little work. I am preaching from Acts tomorrow - conversion not as a once in a lifetime event, but an event that continues for a lifetime...and beyond! The question, of course, is do we want a conversion like that? Would be accept the call that comes with it. I worked on it yesterday and I think it is in pretty good shape - my cats agree.

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    1. The best definition of "conversion" I ever heard was from a friend who worked with mentally handicapped adults. he described it as "submitting all you know of yourself to all you know of God." which is of course an everyday affair. I've also found it a very helpful thought in working with small children.

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    2. Great ideas on continuing conversion!!

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    3. I really like the idea of conversion as "submitting all you know of yourself to all you now of God" because it is ongoing. Not a one-time destination.

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    4. I to love that definition...now if only I can remember that when I need it.

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  8. Retelling the twin stories of this week's lectionary (Acts & John) as if they take place on two side of our rural New England town in the same span of time. A bit of a narrative stretch, perhaps, but the idea of one guy walking to Town Hall on a dirt road, self-righteous and mad as hell at "those people" and determined to deputize himself, while another guy, fighting depression, gets together with his buddies and goes fishing...well, it just sounds so LOCAL. This is a town of sport-fishermen and gun shops, after all.

    I'm 2/3rds done now and have to leave for my third job at the British Import shop in another town, so I can supply you all with chocolate-covered biscuits and Cadbury Crunchie bars!

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    1. Sounds great MaineCelt! I love the creativity and localization.

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    2. Love it! Are you posting it? I want to read it!

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    3. Did I hear chocolate? Sounds perfect for 9:45 in the morning!

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    4. Nice! Definitely would love to hear/read when done. :)

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    5. Final draft posted below, comment #98. Thanks for the encouragement!

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  9. I am popping in during a break from the monthly Pancake Breakfast -- way too much schmoozing for this introvert. When it's finished, I am officially gone.

    Tonight, playing mistress of ceremonies for a dinner celebrating the 10th anniversary of the program where I did my spiritual direction training. Tomorrow, completely off. Wednesday, heading for 9 days of silent retreat with a stop-off for lunch at seminary.

    Breakfast on the beach sermon when I return, so I will be searching all your wonderful ideas.

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    1. Mmmmmm pancakes. Schmoozing - blech.

      I'm looking forward to a late in teh week break/vacation, too. Just holding on until then.

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    2. I would in my office as well.
      Yay for silent retreats and time off...sounds like several of us are just counting the days, hours, minutes, and seconds.

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  10. Asking for prayers that our house in Marshall finds a new family at the open house today. I have accepted a new call and need to not be making 2 house payments. Oh yes, and once again it is snowing and not the weather that sends folks out to buy a new house.

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    1. wow, your house and hopeful Kate's too! Praying for both of you, and your new call too!

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    2. Prayers ascending for the house and all other transition stresses.

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    3. RevDrKate needs an all clear on their home inspection today in the same small town. We have the same Realtor . Life in a small town.

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    4. Prayers for you both - went through it last year and it was so stressful. Hope the process goes quickly and smoothly for you both.

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  11. Holding this all in prayer! And celebrating your new call!

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    1. Thanks Stephanie! It is all good. Even the selling / moving part

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  12. Preaching off lectionary at a Gifts of Women service. But- I did use this passage in combination with Jonah last spring: http://wp.me/psDHQ-AP

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  13. So, I'm up. Sort of. I'm awake, but I haven't made it out of bed. I need to do that soon, though because swim lessons start soon.

    I spent almost 40 hours this week just working on becoming a certified emergency services chaplain in face-to-face and on-line classes. I decided tomorrow will be less of a sermon and more of a report back on what I learned. However, old habits (and a vocation) die hard, so I paired my little report with the 23rd Psalm and the John lectionary passage (I'm usually a Narrative Lectionary gal this year) and will tie the role of the police chaplain to walking with people in dark valleys and feeding sheep.

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    1. What class did you take and where? I would love to do something like that. Blessings!

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  14. This is SO cool. Where did you do this training?

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    1. It was very cool. A group called MESCA offers it twice a year in the Twin Cities. They are the Minnesota Emergency Services Chaplain Association. They got organized about training after the 35W bridge collapsed in Minneapolis in August 2007. The Minneapolis Police Department (and others around here) have had fantastic volunteer chaplains, but some of the leaders realized after some super-sketchy people "self-deployed" to offer pastoral care that more standardized, quality training was needed. Our county sheriff's department is open to starting a volunteer chaplain corps, and I'm going to be one of the first four chaplains. From the start we're using this group as our training/certifcation provider. It was fantastic.

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    2. I wish we could get some training like that here. Really, what I want though, it basic first aid. Twice this year, I have come upon people collapsed by the road. Once in January - sadly a fatality (hit and run). One a few days ago, the guy was blue but a passerby did cpr and he came too - paramedics said that it was drug related, but he was walking and talking when I left the scene. Both times I kind of hung out and prayed and wished there was more I could do.

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  15. We are a busy bunch!

    And as a veteran wedding officiant--27?! Really? Who's left to sit in the pews?

    Preaching on the Revelation and John passages, and now trying to remember how I thought they tied together...something about voices, you think? Or maybe it was the many ("myriads of myriads") singing and the many fish?

    Sigh. I will find it. Not much else to do, for once, except a community potluck which ai may or may not go to. Looking forward to not preaching next Sunday, when a denominational official will be in town to do it--especially nice since I will be leaving first thing next Monday morning for a five-day retreat! I usually preach three Sundays a month, but I had a series going for Lent and so preached all the way through.

    Sesame bagels with goat cheese for breakfast--or early lunch, or bedtime snack, depending on where you are...

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    1. Maybe the lamb and the sheep?

      I'm looking forward to a break next week, too. Enjoy!!!

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  16. I am in the unusual position of having over 800 words already and something that is preach-able, but not post-able. I woke up Thursday with an idea, went out and wrote it done in about an hour. I just re-read it and it's fairly good to go.

    All which should mean I have an easy day today, but no. There's a Salad Luncheon (a fun community event but still work!), then a few visits, and a nursing home service to work on (which I may not have to do if the snow storm predicted on the news comes through as predicted!) And there's a belated wedding reception tonight my spouse wants to go to, which should be fun, but...really, on a church night.

    It's a busy day, but it's a different kind of stress knowing that my sermon is done. I like it!

    Countdown to vacation begins in earnest...7 days to FLA!

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  17. So let's see. It's April, right? So this is the month when I will be away more than I am here:last week a trip to Chicago to help my daughter pack and move, clergy conference (next week), and 8 days in Mississippi for CREDO.

    As if that were not enough, my younger brother died suddenly last Sunday, and as he was on disability I am his power of attorney - so I am making arrangements for memorial services later this summer.

    It's no wonder I woke up with a raging headache, the result of, I am certain, clenching my teeth all night.

    At least I am using sustainable sermons for the next two weeks and continuing with that theme for part of May and June.

    I am reusing a sermon series from last year where in the Music Director and I reflect on the parts of the liturgy - its a five part reflection that begins with how we prepare to worship (set up altar, rehearse choir, come from our various homes) and moves through things like the opening sentence, the readings, the sermon, the Nicene Creed, the peace, the Eucharist, and the various gestures we make during worship - it is intended to help people understand what we do and why. The music director talks about all the musical portions...it's a pretty good series for this "end of the year OMG I can't preach another thing" time. and, particularly relevant this year with all I have going on.

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    1. Terri , so sorry to hear about your brother. Praying for you and your family as you grieve and attend to so many details

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    2. Terri, thinking of you at this hard time. Praying for peace and strength for you and yours.

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    3. Praying God's comfort and sustenance as you grieve and attend to other business.

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    4. Holiding you in prayer - -especialy that CREDO will be able to be a place of healing and comfort.

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    5. Thank you, all. I appreciate your prayers.

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    6. Holding you in prayer here as well. _/\_

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  18. Stephanie, thank you for hosting today. I love the icon image you used!

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  19. A busy day here - we have been out of pocket with boys' soccer and swimming events the last few weekends, so this is catch-up time. Housecleaning to prepare for a visit from my parents later in the week, worship prep, etc.

    Not much on sermon yet but the title - "Keeping Our Mouths Shut" about Stephen - how he didn't and sometimes we do, out of fear. And fear is not resurrection stuff. Examples would be appreciated!

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    1. I like where you're going. I'll think on examples. Ones of keep our mouths shut are easier - - when a racist or sexist joke is told. When I was sitting in the middle of a conversation between two other women about how horrible it is to have chidlren in daycare (while my daughter is in daycare)

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  20. Well, I had a couple of posts eaten from my phone when I was watching the kids' swimming lessons. One of them mentioned I got a text that a church member had a massive stroke this morning while at the hospital being treated for pancreatitis and an ulcer that has eaten through her small intestine. On my way over there now that the family has been fed and my husband is putting everyone down for naps. I have found the chapel at this particular hospital to be a good writing spot for me, so I might stop in there and jot some of my thoughts down when I'm done. I'm not feeling stressed about what I'm writing, but since the place has good mojo....

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    1. Oh my! Prayers for that journey, Stephanie.

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  21. Oh, and youngest son formally diagnosed ADHD this week, along with sensory processing disorder and learning diabilities (which we already knew) - so he's beginning meds. Prayers appreciated.

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    1. Prayers. I remember the combined fear/relief when our son was diagnosed with ADHD. The meds really do make a difference.

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    2. Such a difficult thing for parents. I'm holding you all in prayer and hoping that meds can help him settle into the child God has created him to be. We to have some "issues" with our littleman that we are working to see how we can treat.

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    3. Prayers for you, your son, your family.

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    4. Thanks, everybody. First dose was today; all went well. Saw some difference. The big test will be school! I have a feeling it will take a while to find the best dose/timing.

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  22. Joining the party after noon in this part of the world. I came in to the office because I thought I might be able to think better here. Not happening.

    In a little over a week, I go back to PA to pack up my house that hasn't sold yet. I want to feel more settled here with some of my pastor books and a few other things that didn't make into the car with my cat and me when we headed out last fall.

    So, I'm feeling nostalgic today. Maybe that's how the disciples felt about the Jesus event in their lives when they went fishing that day. Time to move on. Some things can be moved on from, like Pennsylvania. Probably not Jesus, though.

    I'm troubled (as in "the waters have been troubled") over a great insight that Robin said on FB. It was about how we (pastors? the church?) haven't done a good job of communicating our faith so that people understand it. Jesus probably felt that way, too, when he said, "Fish on the OTHER side of the boat, children!"

    These may be sermon threads. Or not.

    Going for coffee. What can I bring back for anyone?

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    1. There's a lot of food for thought in the combination of your 'time to move on' and the disciples fishing. Sounds like a great way into the story that people will connect with.

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    2. Sounds like a good sermon idea. Sorry about the house not selling - I hope that changes soon!

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  23. I'm having trouble focussing, as I have been since Easter. Even after a few days off, I can't seem to get my act together until late. And we are doing 'multi-voice' worship and altho I love it, I'm feeling less than confident. The congregation is supportive, but it still feels like 'thin ice' or better that I'm not doing 'my job' of preaching. At any rate, I realize its more me than anything so I suppose what I really need is some renewal time. But it seems like even that takes energy I don't have. ah well.
    This place is a good one to check in. So sorry to hear about death and illness which never seem far away do they?

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    1. It's the end of the year "brick wall" of exhaustion is my take on this inability to focus....I think what you are doing is an inspired idea and will be food for the people.

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  24. Good afternoon preachers. I have draft! Hurrah! It's too long. Ugh. Not a problem I have that often. I used the stories of Saul, Peter and the Beloved Disciple as examples of the different ways we might meet and respond to Jesus. Inspired, oddly enough, by a reference to the uncovering of the identity of the Wizard of Oz in a commentary on Revelation (on Working Preacher).

    I also need to finish the homily for my mother's funeral which is this coming Friday (she died back in January; her funeral is on what would be my parents' 64th wedding anniversary). I know that we are cautioned not to do family members' services, and that officiating and preaching at my mother's funeral is perhaps strange, but it is also a gift to me from my mother. She was never much a fan of women's ordination or of my decision to leave a secure job in academia to go off to seminary and an unsure life as a priest. In the last week of her life, however, she told my daughter and my sister that she really wanted me to do her funeral, and I am taking that as a sacred trust and an affirmation that she was finally okay with my choice.

    So I asked family members to share stories/memories with me as I prepared the homily, and so far ....crickets. Maybe not surprised but hugely disappointed at this point. I could say a whole lot more about that, but I won't.

    I think I will have a late lunch and ponder what next on my large to-do list I should tacke. Or take a nap.

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    1. Families are complicated....sigh. Good for your draft, here is to the ability to do some (ruthless?) editing,,,,

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    2. Ah, that sounds very complicted and heart rending. I hope this will be a healing process for you, too.

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    3. Thoughts and prayers are with you as you prepare for your mother's service...I just did my father's memorial service and while it was difficult, I saw it as the last loving gift I could give him. Families are complicated and frustrating...may God's peace be with you.

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    4. Keep bugging them. Are there friends you could ask, too? Prayers.

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  25. Well, looks like I am preaching tomorrow . Got a call that the Pastor has vertigo so bad he can't stand up and is panicked about worship and congregational meeting. Could I step in? Yes I Can. God continues to demonstrate a wild sense of humor. Will be back to check in later. We have a family celebration dinner for my new call. The good news is this gives me an opportunity to share this part of the journey with my home congregation.

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  26. I'm preaching on John. Th idea that the disciples go back to doing what is comfortable, but with diminished results really speaks to me. My congregation has been doing the same thing for years and continued to get less and less money and people in the pews. We've taken a huge step forward and ended last year in the black for the first time in many many years. We have youngish people joining the church. We are embarking on a capital improvement campaign to fix all the things that went wrong when we stopped doing preventative maintenance in the 1960's. I love the idea of Jesus inviting them to do something unexpected and cast their nets out the other side of the boat. I'm going to invite the congregation to do the same. To try something a little scary and step out in faith so that we can continue the momentum we are currently experiencing.

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    1. Sometimes that momentum will carry them forward into new terrain! I hope so!!!

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    2. oh, I like it. I was going kinda with the same initial idea, about returning home to what is familiar, but I really like where you went after that. Not sure it will work in this particular supply congregation, but I think it will preach.

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  27. Glad to see others are making progress. Prayers for Tracey and others in need of it.

    Well, I have most of a draft... Taking a break for early dinner then back to it. Of course the phone conversations and Facebook time didn't help. Procrastination!

    On the positive side, I know where I am going! Just as the disciples pulled in a lot of fish, way more than needed, there are a lot of angels singing. There are a lot of people too, and each one is important on their own (like the fish, which are counted), but also as part of something larger--the "myriads of myriads" AKA the gathered community of God.

    Back to it!

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    1. YAY for knowing where you are going!

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  28. Filing in for our host Stephanie who is at the hospital with a parishioner...

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  29. Who thought it would be a good idea to do a whole series on Revelation?!!? Oh, right, that was me.

    I've been reading my eyes out this week, and the new thinking on this book is so fascinating, I just want to do more. But I guess i have to get down to actually writing something eventually.

    I've been trying to avoid being a Saturday sermon writer, but the last few weeks I've been slipping. I think it's the senior slide - Only 4 more weeks until sabbatical!! (or as a friend is calling it, "Surfbattical," because yes I am going to Hawaii....)

    Anyway - childrens sermon ideas on Revelations? So far, all I got is Alpha and Omega, but dont know what I'm doing with it yet. Also was thinking of talking about the language of dreams, but think I could get over their heads FAST.

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    1. Re: the dreams. I once asked a class of fourth graders if they had ever had a dream where God spoke to them. Every single one of them had one to share. It was AMAZING. Not sure that approach would work for a children's sermon, but they may know more about it than the grownups.

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    2. We held an ecumenical Bible study during Lent on the Book of Revelation using the DVD series by Bruce Metzger. I would love to know what some of your more contemporary resources are! Children's ideas? wow...uhm, I'd consider talking a little bit about bullying, what that feels like and compare that to caring for others, with the idea that God always cares for us.

      But also, I really like Esperanza's idea. I'm not sure, in my adult life, that I could say that precisely...but as a child I probably would have.

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    3. Wow, esperanza, that's really cool. I would love to try that, but have some unpredictable elements (!) in the childrens time and it's hard to follow up with them.

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  30. Well the party seems to be pretty quiet tonight. I hope you all are doing well and sermons are coming together. Prayers for all preachers tomorrow. This substitute host is calling it a night. Blessing, all.

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    1. Gnight, Terri. Thanks for hosting. Want me to step in? I'll be up for a while yet and I'm making GF chocolate chip cookies.

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  31. Thanks so much Terri! I'm still at the hospital, and we're still waiting. W expect to hear from the surgeon in the next half hour or so. I don't know that my night will be over then, though. We will see. We will see.

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    1. Oh Stephanie. Still praying. That's good work you are doing.

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  32. Just finished-- stalled out for a bit in the middle, until a friend reminded me to get out of the way and leave some room in the sermon for the Holy Spirit. Now there's a question-and-answer part that I'm really excited about, looking forward to how it will unfold with the congregation's participation tomorrow morning.

    You can find my rural Maine retelling of the RCL readings from Acts & John Right Here.

    Blessings to all who wrestle, mourn, sigh, wait, and write.

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  33. Oh! Gosh! And I just remembered I need a children's message, 'cause our usual person won't be there. Ah, well...we'll see what God has for us in the morning.

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  34. And just because I have never done this before...

    100! ;-)

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    1. Way to go! I always feel like we should have some kind of travelling trophy for #100, whoever she is for the week.

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    2. That was an amazing sermon MaineCelt. I wish I could sit in your pews this week to hear it!

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  35. I'm calling the party done and done - sleep tight sleepy preachers. Many blessings on your proclaiming.

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  36. Thanks Juniper for helping. A team of hosts! Hoping all turned out better than anticipated for the family Stephanie.

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  37. Good morning. I let myself hit snooze a time or two longer than usual, but I'm up and my brain is starting to move. I've got an our to gather my less sermon-ic than usual thoughts, which should be just perfect. Very glad this all happened on a weekend I had already given myself a "pass" on a more traditional sermon in favor of reporting back about my police chaplain training. This shouldn't be too hard at all.

    The surgery went as well as it could. The higher chances were all on the side of her not making it through at all, and she made it. Hopefully later today there will be chances to see how much or what kind of actual brain damage there was due to the significant bleeding she experienced in her brain from the stroke/aneurysm. We most certainly aren't out of the woods, but at least the surgeon kept her alive in the forest, so to speak.

    Thanks for all your prayers. It was wonderful to have a whole team of pastors to the pastor!

    Blessings on your worship today!

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