Visit our new site at revgalblogpals.org.

Saturday, July 20, 2013

11th Hour Preacher Party- Doing AND being edition





I thought it was time to get in a picture of our puppy here at the Preacher Party. An active, energetic border collie whom it seems we can never tire, yet a snuggly dog who is just as content to lie at our feet on those days when we can't get to the beach. She seems to have sussed well the ability to run some days, walk others and soak up all the loving she gets.
As I return to the pulpit after two weeks off, I've been reflecting on that kind of wisdom. I've chosen, this week, not to rush back into all the pastoral visits or immediate concerns of the parish but to take some extra time to pray and to plan and to write, the work that often gets consigned to the wee small hours after I've put in time on "the real work".
Needless to say, my writing this week has not included a sermon, so I will be spending another day in quiet contemplation, welcoming the Holy Spirit as I try to hold together the validity of the different approaches of Martha and Mary.
The Lectionary readings this week certainly encourage us to reflect on the real work of the Kingdom, from Amos' indictment of unjust practice, to the image of Christ in Colossians as reconciling, to the choices of Martha and Mary in service.
Perhaps you are doing something alternative for summer worship. I love hearing about the creativity of all the different sermon series folk are embracing.
Whatever it is, join the party, inspire and be inspired.
Share what you have and take what you need.
Lets do this thing together!


- Posted using BlogPress from my iPad

134 comments:

  1. Replies
    1. I was getting concerned that I was partying alone this week! Thanks for joining in, Robin.

      Delete
  2. I don't think I've ever been the first partier!

    Tomorrow is the first of ten Sundays I'll be acting as supply pastor/preacher for a tiny congregation just down the road from me, while my colleague is on sabbatical.

    I contemplated using a Sustainable Sermon, but when I looked through my files I found two Mary/Martha ones that were no longer inspiring, so I'm going with Amos' call to justice.

    I got a good start on Wednesday, but am now at the point where I need to make a point, y'know? I'm struggling with finding the good news with this text, but probably must acknowledge that the real Good News falls outside the text.

    I feel very, very rusty.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. This comment has been removed by the author.

      Delete
    2. I'm sure you'll very soon be back into your stride!

      Delete
  3. This comment has been removed by the author.

    ReplyDelete
  4. Robin, we must have cross-posted. :)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. :)


      Obviously I am in no condition to go to any meeting, as I cannot seem to post anything where or how I want to.

      Delete
  5. OK, got that out of my system!

    I'm spending the morning across town at a meeting of the Board-in-waiting of the newly forming Northern Ohio chapter of the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention. I really love this organization -- research, education, and advocacy. Not a support group in the traditional way -- we don't spend time being morose, but we can mention our experiences with complete candor, because we've all had them, horrible ones -- but a support group in the sense of very determined and surprisingly upbeat and funny and outrageously strong people.

    Therefore, my sermon is mostly finished. It was one of those weeks where you read and pray and think and plan and get it mostly settled in your mind and even pretty much scratched down and then you turn to Working Preacher and -- there's your sermon. Geez. So be it, I guess.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Robin, sounds a fierce and fabulous group of people with your kind of courage.
      Glad your sermon came along early and what a nice confirmation that Working Preacher is on the right lines too!

      Delete
  6. Robin, I was noodling with the idea of "hunger" in Amos, only to find that Beuchner has the same dang idea. Nothing new under the sun, I guess.

    ReplyDelete
  7. Hi Jules and Robin and Liz :) I am up early and trying to mostly finish before the rest of the family awakens, on a stormy wet Saturday morning...(which means no softball game to go to!). Got back last night from an amazing and exhausting week long mission trip to southern Ohio. It was very. very. hot. but the 65 were all troopers!
    I haven't preached in a very long time and am preaching three services tomorrow, and then next week two at the church I grew up in in Massachusetts. So I get to party with y'all! Focusing on Mary and Martha - what better contrast to play with after a week of hard work for Jesus? My sermon title matches Liz's post :) I want to talk about being present in the moment, doing what we are doing while we are doing it. I'll take any great quotes anyone wants to send my way! Blessings to all on your preparations.

    ReplyDelete
  8. Good morning MP - what a brutal re-entry! Hope Martha and Mary speak to your needs too.

    ReplyDelete
  9. It's hot, hot, hot here in the UK with temps in mid to late 20 C. Nothing to many of you seasoned desert people, but we're so not used to it!
    So, it being lunchtime here, I have a jug of ice cold non alcoholic Pimms, full of fresh fruit to bring some cooling refreshment as you write.
    Too hot to think about food just yet but it's wonderful to be out in the garden writing.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. It is 7:30a here and I would love a Pimms! It is hard to find here. I don't know why. It is one of the most refreshing drinks there is.


      Delete
    2. Liz, it is supposed to be 33+ here today. But it is drier than Scotland and certainly drier than Ayr. Pimms with alcohol will be much appreciated later today. ;>)

      Delete
    3. Muthah, the sun is over the hard arm here - which means we'll be moving on to the alcoholic version too. Help yourself!

      Delete
  10. It's 8pm here and I really need to make sermon progress. There's an idea, but it is bitty and for reasons I won't write in such a public spot it has been a tough couple of days. If I can just do two hours of focussed work, I'm sure there will be something to preach in the morning, and enough sleep to preach it!

    Glad of your company. I have limes for your water glasses, and peach juice to share.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you. Read your blog earlier in the day. Timely for me. Had very interesting conversation with a Bishop in my ordaining church yesterday about the costliness of having to speak "less than the truth" out of respect for church governance and process. Not sure I could currently do it.

      Delete
    2. Jemma, Glad you stopped by. Hope you found your focus and adding prayers for the tough things.

      Delete
  11. By the WAY, a quiet but very happy celebration here on a day on which the world looks very different: our son who is preparing for the bar exam got a job yesterday!!! clerking for a state appellate court judge. I haven't plastered it all over FB because I have a friend whose son finished law school 2 years ago and is still unemployed, but we are really delighted, and I hope I can celebrate here.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Celebrate...what wonderful news!

      Delete
    2. so glad for him and for the delight (and relief? it's a tough market) you all experience in this.

      Delete
    3. Wonderful news! Congratulations!

      Delete
    4. YAY, thanks for sharing here Robin and for inviting us to the celebration.

      Delete
    5. Blogger ate my comment...congrats to all around! That is great news!

      Delete
  12. I preached on Amos and the plumb line last week. I am not going to be preaching anymore--in fact I am not even going to have a church to attend for a while so I think I am going to get back into writing sermons for my blog readership. I think I want to continue with Amos. I loath the M-M reading. I guess it is just too close to home. But I tend to be Mary rather than a Martha anyway. It is the polarized either/or of the story that makes it difficult for me to preach. Most of us are both/and or at least I hope we are. If we are one or the other, we aren't very balanced spiritually. But maybe being M or M is sort of the Meyers-Briggs and we balance out later in life. Hmmm. Maybe that will preach after all.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Mary/Martha reminds me too much of The Mommy Wars. I don't ever want to preach it again.

      Delete
  13. Preaching on Mary and Martha tomorrow. I spent way too much time doing exegesis this week...so, I have too many thoughts and need to pick a main point. Looking at Mary and Martha as complementary, and our need to be and do, listen and speak...Prayers for all of you in your corners of the world!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Suz, hope all the exegesis makes things come together quickly for your message of complementarity.

      Delete
  14. Today I have been working on various invisible ink concoctions for my children's talk (Colossians, Jesus making God visible to us). My baking soda/grape juice ones really didn't do much so had moved on to the trusty lemon juice plus heat. Was trying to use a lamp with a good bulb - the good thing about new eco-bulbs is that they really don't generate heat. Resorted to a candle and as I considered whether this was good behaviour to model to the younger members of the congregation my spy note caught fire! Glad I practiced. Glad I have a Plan C! (No invisible ink needed!)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. What I meant to say was the good thing for the environment is that ecobulbs don't generate much heat. The bad thing for pastor-spy-wannabes is that they don't generate enough heat to safely turn your lemon juice message visible.

      Delete
    2. Got a tensor light? They produce enough heat.

      Delete
    3. What a great idea for Colossians! So...what was your Plan C?

      Delete
    4. Good, I needed a Col childrens message.

      Delete
    5. Plan C is to introduce a friend of mine that lives in my home country to the children. I will ask if they know what he looks like (of course not!). So I will tell them he is the same height as one of the Sunday School teachers, has hair the same colour as.. etc. Then they will have a much better idea about what my friend looks like. Not an original idea - borrowed from one of the children's talks linked to on Textweek (he compares his own appearance to that of his Dad's. Also good analogy but not going to work in this setting!

      Delete
  15. 12 Sundays of Summer series is now on the number 5...as in five loaves of bread ala John 6. I was a week long CE event which was meh. It 'worked' for a large group of those in attendance...which also speaks to the general attitude etc of the area where I live.

    I preached this text for a church while I was still in the call process and due to unblogable family dysfunction this week...I did some tweaking and will be using it tomorrow.

    And...Wednesday I leave to begin a 7 day silent retreat. Yes!!!!!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Blessings on your retreating. May God meet you in the places of your need.

      Delete
    2. Purple
      Glad you are doing a silent retreat. Sounds like what your spirit needs. There is a long standing regional event that I will never attend again even though many return year after year. Listen to your spirit. Blessings friend!

      Delete
    3. Purple - glad you have found something tweak able - hope you are sustained until you can go on retreat. Look forward to hearing about the benefits of feeding your spirit.

      Delete
  16. I haven't preached much about my namesake, because I have been on vacation most times she has appeared in the lectionary cycle, but I am doing it tomorrow, adapting something I wrote for an interfaith service three years ago. Alongside the gospel then we read a quote from Thich Nhat Hanh's "Living Buddha, Living Christ," which I found helpful:

    The most precious gift we can offer others is our presence. When our mindfulness embraces those we love, they will bloom like flowers. If you love someone but you rarely make yourself available to him or her, that is not true love. When your beloved is suffering, you need to recognize her suffering, anxiety, and worries, and just by doing that, you already offer some relief. Mindfulness relieves suffering because it is filled with understanding and compassion. When you are really there, showing your loving-kindness and understanding, the energy of the Holy Spirit is in you. That is why I told the priest in Florence that mindfulness is very much like the Holy Spirit. Both of them help us touch the ultimate dimension of reality. Mindfulness helps us touch nirvana, and the Holy Spirit offers us to the door of the Trinity.

    This time around I'm only using the bolded portion of the quote.

    My thesis is that we think we're all so crazy busy and distracted nowadays, and we blame it on electronics, but the need to detach from tasks in order to be present to others has always been there. I also no longer read what Jesus says as scolding and put the emphasis on the close relationship he had with the family.

    I'm still working on the sermon and will post it later.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Martha,
      Thanks for this quote. Glad toy get to preach on your namesake.

      Delete
    2. Thanks Martha! That helps a lot!

      Delete
    3. The thing that keeps coming up for me is "Do what you are doing."

      If I am being with Jesus, that's what I am doing. If I'm washing dishes, that's all. It's very hard.

      Delete
    4. I love the quote, Martha. Thanks for it!

      Delete
  17. I've been out of town this week (visiting grandparents) and had a bit of a break, though not from my kids. No break in sight, as hubby is snowed under at his church. Therefore....a recyclable sermon on M&M.

    And this side note, which I always want to share but never works in a sermon because it is completely incidental. My mother-in-law and her twin sister were named Mary and Martha, but their roles were switched from the Biblical ones. Mary always fussing in the kitchen, Martha hanging out with the family. More complicated than that, of course.

    Anyway, it's a "we need to be Mary AND Martha" sermon, which is not earth-shattering, but so be it. I was at this pulpit supply church two weeks ago and there were 3 people in attendance, me and the pianist included. We had a very nice prayer together. But that is making it hard to put any energy into a sermon that may not (likely won't) get preached.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Esperanza, glad you have something recyclable, especially if it may not get preached. Wouldn't those few people like to hear it anyway?

      Delete
    2. just now saw your response, liz. I would have been willing to preach to the other two, but the prayer meeting was their request. One was in tears by the end of the prayer, so I'd say she needed that more than my sermon. :)

      We'll see what happens tomorrow.

      Delete
  18. Hi friends!! This is my first time on the 11th hour because this is my first official sermon ever!!
    I am also in the middle of Mary and Martha and I have a few thoughts, but tips or pointers or ideas, or even just "you can do it"s would be much appreciated!!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Welcome Tura! Yes you can do it! You have come to the right place to share ideas or ask for feedback.

      Delete
    2. Go, Tura! Best tip I ever got when I first started preaching: "Don't tell them everything you know in the first sermon." I, unfortunately, heard this *after* the sermon. :-)

      Delete
    3. welcome Tura!! How fabulous - the best advice I got when preparing my first sermon - was "take time to listen to God and don't rely too heavily on all those commentaries!" - listen to God was the best advice ever... be blessed!

      Delete
    4. Martha, that made me laugh.
      Tura, you can do it! Yes! Deep breaths.

      Delete
    5. One of our favorite "helps" from this group...the Holy Spirit has your back. You will be just fine! Remember to breathe!

      Delete
    6. Enjoy! May you know God's grace and peace in the preparation and in the preaching.

      Delete
    7. Tufa, so glad you've pitched in. Hope you've found inspiration already - and, of course, support. We're all in this together, beginners or not! What a privileged task we have nd what a wonderful community in which to find strength and encouragement.

      Delete
    8. Oops - TuRa - mobile blogging!

      Delete
    9. Hello, Tura! Great to have you here.

      Delete
    10. Tura! Welcome and blessings on your first sermon. I KNOW you will rock it. I'm so excited for you... and will be praying this evening as you finish preparing and tomorrow as you preach. Hugs from SoulWiggles aka MomAndert. :)

      Delete
  19. Although it is a sustainable sermon...I did post it

    ReplyDelete
  20. Good morning preachers! I am in Vermont at my daughter's house, taking care of my grandson while she goes to a baby shower...and sort of writing. I drove up Thursday night to help my other daughter and s-i-l work on their "new" fixer - upper. Spent yesterday spackling, taping, and painting trim, which I found quite satisfying and did a couple hours more this morning. Their house has great potential and I am glad I could get away to help.

    BUT I still have a 4.5 hour drive home when WW (to use her old blog pseudonym) gets home, so I need to get this sermon done NOW while M is watching Magic School Bus. I am doing M&M because I just don't have it in me to tackle Amos as much as he is one of my favorite prophets. I'm using M&M to talk about balance between doing and being. I've got about a third of it written and it is what it is. I have ONE more Sunday after tomorrow before my vacation and I am SO ready.

    Also anticipating a BIG funeral in the next week or so. One of our 98 yo matriarchs in in hospice and I am just waiting for the call...one of the great ladies who will be sorely missed.

    Okay, need to write!! Back later

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. RDM - what lucky daughters to have you on hand and willing to travel the distance. What is it about those last couple of weeks before vacation. Our sermon mojo slopes off early!

      Delete
  21. Replies
    1. Have ordered some T shirts - they might make an appearance at BE! Happily distracting :)

      Delete
  22. I too am focusing on M&M doing and being but am so distracted - I have company coming later today and need to focus and get finished. I find that I start to second guess what I have and then seek to find what others are saying instead of finishing up what I have - ahhh!
    I feeling very 'Martha' like - focused on the many busy things to do and not being able to focus on my one needful thing which is to finish this sermon.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Heather, it's frustrating when we mirror our sermons. But maybe it's also authentic to preach to ourselves. Hope you manage to not your company when they arrive.

      Delete
  23. Good morning! Trying to get last minute mission trip details in order (leave tomorrow after worship), along with finishing this sermon.

    Writing on healing the paralytic (the roof story), originally chosen to kick off the mission trip with a "working together to bring healing" theme.... and of course Trayvon is weighing on me. Hmmm.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. RevLisa, lots to pack in, literally. Hope you find clarity soon.

      Delete
    2. Thanks liz! Now have picked up the rental cars, and back to the sermon...

      Delete
  24. off lectionary tomorrow as it's the kick-off to our town's festival week [lots of horses dashing through the river and down the beach, and folks going hurrah quite a lot]. We'll be doing an informal summer 'songs of praise' service and the congregation have been sending in their choices over the last couple of weeks - some cracking hymns tomorrow to raise the rafters. So a 7 minute homily rather than a 15 minute spiel... we'll be thinking about worshipping the wild, uncontainable God with joyous abandon... and as prewbyterians, that will be done decently and in good order, naturally :D
    And then... a week of holiday... yeah! :)

    ReplyDelete
  25. oh - and if folks are pondering all-age address re. Martha and Mary... a bare bones talk that could be plumped up:

    You could have a couple of bowls filled with M&M's -
    initial preamble:
    ask folk what they are... yadda yadda
    note the varitey of colours - ask folk if they have a favourite colour M&M
    as you talk pass the bowl around inviting folk to help themselves...
    that the bowl would be rather dull if the M&M's were only one colour...
    did they know a story about M&M's in the bible = Mary and Martha
    have folk recall the story
    and rather than going polar opposite, go down the both/and angle - just as M&M's come in various colours, so people have different dispostions/ ways of being as in story ... if all like Mary, the practical business of living would not really occur... if all like Marth, the point of living would get overlooked...
    Or some such!!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Nik, another children's slot using chocolate? LOL but thanks - sounds good. Enjoy the horsey things tomorrow!

      Delete
    2. well, at least I'm consistent mate :D

      Delete
  26. Hi everyone, checking in for what will hopefully be a productive afternoon of sermon writing! (you can tell I had coffee today! WHEE)

    It's Mary and Martha for me...one I've always loved, so I'm trying to articulate the many issues it can bring up and hopefully move beyond them. We've got the Genesis 18 text paired with it, so may make the move to hospitality (i.e. Martha's tasks were not the problem--people need to eat and have a place to sleep).

    Loving the invisible ink idea for a kids' sermon on Colossians but not sure we have the time to do that in worship...maybe something related will do?

    Otherwise, some apple muffins will soon be appearing and you're welcome to have some!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. SemFem, anticipating those apple muffins... Yum!

      Delete
  27. Done. TBTG. And done may be better than good in this case.

    We are having church on the lawn tomorrow followed by a brunch picnic, and I'm praying for good weather. Thankfully the heat wave is supposed to break.

    I'll check in tonight when I get home. Prayers for traveling mercies this afternoon appreciated!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Praying Rev Dr Mom. Look forward to seeing you later.

      Delete
  28. For those doing Amos - you may want to check out the budgeting/ financial planning tool developed by Visa for McD's employees. Claims employees can have almost anything they want if they just plan ahead. The proposed budget starts with a second job, budgets $600 for rent, $20 for health insurance, $0 for food or heat... Amos might have something to say to a corporation that can promote this and claim they are acting in their employees best interest. Can someone more tech inclined help with a link to this?

    ReplyDelete
  29. Hello, Celeste. What a find - and how unjust. Sorry I can't help with tech - I'm using ipad at the moment. But, thanks for flagging this up.

    ReplyDelete
  30. Replies
    1. Thanks MB. Good to have friends with skills ;)

      Delete
  31. Hello all, I'm back from several weeks away (Conference and Vacation). it was very relaxing and I feel fortunate to have the time. But here I sit putting things together on Saturday. I love this congregation and place, but whenever I spend that much time away with my recently retired hubby, it gets me thinking about the retired life...
    That may sound find for Mary, but we've all got Martha's work today.. I originally choose MM but really like Amos so decided I could tie them together. Thanks to Willimon and Cynthia Jarvis in Feasting I have my link, but there has been a lot of "What was I thinking?" going on this week!

    ReplyDelete
  32. Ok, I got the kids' sermon done, which is better than thinking of something elaborate at 6 am...but not really getting anywhere on the "real" sermon yet.

    (I decided to go with invisible writing--white crayon on white paper--then use watercolor paint to reveal the writing. Apparently I am OK with using water but not OK with using heat to reveal invisible ink.)

    ReplyDelete
  33. Rev Nancy, my hubbie retired recently too and I've found this summer quite challenging as he heads off to our bolt hole down the coast. It's tempting to escape with him more than I should! But it's also good that I'm more disciplined in taking time off.
    After your time away, though, hope your re-entry is gentle.

    ReplyDelete
  34. Well, I've gone to the farmer's market, come home, puttered, had lunch, written a little, fooled around on FB, now I'm at 1500 words--that point where I'd better put up or shut up.

    But now I have the McD's article to think about. Hmmm...

    ReplyDelete
  35. This is my first post here, my fifth sermon ever, and I'm playing with Martha and Mary and Jesus. I want to place in in it's Luke 10 context (sending out of the 70 and the Good Samaritan making righteousness look like it's all about doing until Luke gives us this little scene). I'm going to use Eugene Peterson's paraphrase to give us a fresh hearing:


    38-40 As they continued their travel, Jesus entered a village. A woman by the name of Martha welcomed him and made him feel quite at home. She had a sister, Mary, who sat before the Master, hanging on every word he said. But Martha was pulled away by all she had to do in the kitchen. Later, she stepped in, interrupting them. “Master, don’t you care that my sister has abandoned the kitchen to me? Tell her to lend me a hand.”
    41-42 The Master said, “Martha, dear Martha, you’re fussing far too much and getting yourself worked up over nothing. One thing only is essential, and Mary has chosen it—it’s the main course, and won’t be taken from her.”

    Of course, the big question is What is the main course? Is it sitting and hearing God's Word, or is it loving attention to Jesus and the community?

    Since I'm pretty new to this preaching thing, I'm aware of my self-doubt the whole time I'm writing. It's a good call to prayer and trust : )

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hello wooly1, I found my answer in Feasting where Cynthia Jarvis quotes Joel Green. It's a focus on the posture of the kind of welcome Jesus wants from us. I think that can be played with but Jarvis & Green say, "She (Martha) is concerned to engage his assistance in HER plans, not to learn from him."
      so that's how I'm tying Amos and Luke together..

      Delete
    2. Yes, that's helpful. Also, Martha is "distracted by her service", which begs the question--distracted from what? I don't think it's "distracted from sitting at Jesus's feet" as much as it is "distracted from Jesus."

      We're reading Abraham for our OT reading--also good on the kind of welcome Jesus wants. I've long been captivated by Jesus's being both guest and host--never one or the other. I'm not sure it fits into my sermon for tomorrow, but I cherish the mutuality of giving and receiving that he lived out.

      (That's still a very raw idea, yet to be shaped into something preach-able)

      Delete
    3. Welcom, Woolly, glad you've pitched in and got us thinking. Hope it becomes preach able soon.

      Delete
    4. You've given me a little bit to add for them to chew on. thanks

      Delete
  36. Thank you, thank you, thank you, MB! That link was just what I needed. I just hit "print"!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Jules, lots of people seem to have found their missing pieces here at the party today. That's what we're about, isn't it. It's great to see it all coming together.

      Delete
  37. Just back from the farmers' market and I was srsly tempted by the most beautiful baskets of mixed fruit, all ripe!!!! at one stall -- the most perfect decor for a sermon focussing on Amos. But instead I am going to do my Short Course on how to put the fragments of the lectionary together into a whole on any given Sunday...winding up with Jesus and Martha doing IMPROV as the dramatization of the shape of God's engagement with us named by the prophet, celebrated in the Psalm, theoretically analysed in the Epistle. That, I figger, should hold'em. The linchpin of the whole thing is Martha's question; "Don't you CARE?"

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Love it, Crimson Rambler. That's a sermon I'd love to hear - sometimes I really wonder how it all fits together.

      Delete
  38. The word for tomorrow at Itty Bitty Church is up at my blog. I am grateful for today's support!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Jules, every blessing as you get back into the fray. Hope it all feels very familiar - without the crap of course!

      Delete
  39. "after a day of intense distraction, I finally have a sermon talking about - distractions! Always preaching to myself!

    ReplyDelete
  40. It's already Sunday here.mi know, across the pond, you guys have hours yet to write and finish up - and then there are the late nighters. But I'm going to leave you to party on.
    I'll be back early to set up the coffee but I hope the sermon fairy gets to everyone soon. Thanks for all your sharing so fat - and I'm sure there's more to come for this weeks preachers. Blessings. x

    ReplyDelete
  41. Oops - a few typos there. Definitely time for me to call it a night!

    ReplyDelete
  42. I'm just getting partying here. That whole business where taking a class in the city on Saturdays would shift my sermon writing schedule to earlier in the week? Not so much. More than halfway through the class and it's just shifted my sermon writing to later on Saturday. sigh. (granted, there's more to it than that, but isn't there always?)

    This week is bloody-cross-hymns in the all-request-summer. Were You There, Old Rugged Cross, Ah Holy Jesus...ending with I Danced in the Morning so at least there's a little "up" just at the end. Trying to avoid straight-up-anti-substitutionary-atonement, but to get a little bit of that in there. I decided the texts would be the whole "foolishness of God" thing and the Emmaus Road story--because we THOUGHT/HOPED he was the one who would follow the script we'd nicely laid out about how God worked, but....

    Or something.

    Last week I thought "oh, next week I can just start with 'last week I said _____ about God's power' and this week we find out what power really means." Of course now that it's this week I'm realizing that a) I didn't say anything last week that's immediately memorable/quotable and b) that might be a tiny bit simplistic.

    Perhaps I should have dinner or clean the kitchen or watch the Daily Show or something. (she says, trying to forget that it's after 6pm already and zero words are written!)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hi Teri, I'm getting that "wow, that's a lot to try to fit into a sermon" thing happening here too! You never know, starting with a brief recap could help some folks. Goodluck with the dinner and daily show.

      Delete
    2. An all request summer sounds like a good - and brave idea. Am I the only one who saves up the cross and blood hymns for guest preachers when I am away???

      Delete
    3. nope, I totally do that too. But having people give me their favorite hymns in advance and promising we'd sing as many as possible during the summer means that, since I'm not missing any Sundays this summer, I get to be here when we sing them. good times. I arranged all the requests into themes and am talking about what exactly we sing--how is what we believe revealed (or not) in our hymnody? It's actually going really well, but this week is the biggest challenge for me, because all that bloody cross stuff is pretty far away from how I understand the cross myself. So trying to figure out what to say about all that is...interesting!

      Delete
    4. Teri, please write something I can steal for next week.

      I am planning to do a sermon on How Great Thou Art. But I just read the lyrics and re-discovered the 4th verse. I am sure that it reflects the unexamined theology of 100% of my congregation as much as it does not reflect mine. The options I see: Ignore it, which hardly seems honest; try to talk a little about atonement theology, which will only upset people, who really really really hate any intimation that what they have absorbed for 50 years might be understood otherwise; or, try a gentle little alternative which I as of yet have no idea about. But maybe you do? :) I mean, it's supposed to be a somewhat lighthearted summer sermon, not a Job-toned sermon.

      Delete
    5. I guess it's the third verse.

      Delete
    6. I confess that when How Great Thou Art came up a few weeks ago, I focused on other hymns. LOL. But I agree with you that you have to find a way to address it somehow...and how is a big question. what to say about "god sent him to die"??? ugh. If I come up with anything worth saying, you're free to seal it!

      Delete
    7. Maybe there's a way of saying that Trinitarian theology tells us that God always wanted to share our entire experience and therefore came as one of us; that it was always the intention that Jesus would come to share our lives, which include suffering and death -- that.

      Then the problem is the "take me home" of the last first -- since home is the new creation over which Jesus reigns and not some far off never-never land.

      Maybe I just keep saying that these are mere words which cannot begin to describe the vast and incomprehensible promise.

      This is exactly the kind of thing that gets me into trouble.

      Delete
    8. We sang that hymn on our last choir Sunday of the year before the long summer break. It was sung big, with such enthusiasm and gusto, and it just made me want to lie on the floor and drum my heels in a toddler-like tantrum feeling it had undermined three years of careful preaching, liturgy-crafting and theological reflection leading.

      Delete
    9. Actually, I gave it a close look late last night and decided to accept the self-challenge. There's quite a bit to work with, if I can figure out a way to minimize the words which people have held dear for decades without insulting them for their simple acceptance -- which is, I'm afraid, how I have often unwittingly made them feel.

      Don't you all find it incredibly difficult, as people trained since about age 2 to question and analyze, to serve congregations for whom those dispositions are threatening, at least when it comes to scripture?

      I think I'll take How Great Thou Art to the FB page tomorrow and see what the rest of you have to offer.

      May your morning be filled with hope, everyone!

      Delete
  43. Back to say ho again. Just looked at my sermon and it'll do, but I must say I am very disappointed in my sermons of late. I have a wonderful leader who's said several times, in the nicest way, that he "likes it simple," and I have taken that to mean he is trying to communicate something on behalf of others, something which has probably been both spoken and unspoken. But I feel that in the simplifying, all the poetry has drained out. There must be a way to connect the two, but I haven't figured it our for my own voice yet.

    ReplyDelete
  44. Chicken curry is cooking away on the stove for dinner, and I'm trying frantically to finish a draft before it's done. I have one decent page so that's something...

    ReplyDelete
  45. Robin, ack, isn't it annoying when text we want to work with betrays us! Hope you find your voice again in a way that meets your needs, your congregation's needs and most importantly God's needs (which part I do not doubt!)...or that you are able to find a way to ignore the worship leader's vague and unhelpful feedback and just go on with preaching the Gospel. Good luck and prayers!

    Otherwise, we have too many tortillas to eat...please fill them as you please and HELP! This is my first time back to the preacher party since our baby boy (our second) was born 10 weeks ago (he's awesome). Thankfully, I have a sermon...

    reverendjoy.blogspot.com (just click my name ;)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. ummm, this is the right place
      http://reverendjoy.blogspot.com/2013/07/im-b-a-ck.html

      Delete
    2. Joy, warm congratulations on your beautiful baby boy - hope all the family are adjusting to him. Prayers with you as you get back to the pulpit tomorrow. Blessings.

      Delete
  46. Okay Gal Pals... I need some TLC. Thankfully the sermon is done. There's been two deaths in just over 24 hrs. I put Bailey-Bean's ashes in his engraved urn which just arrived (today)... and my date sent me a text to cancel.

    A text. I have "new names" for this "date" and none of them are fit to print here...

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. So sorry, Hot Cup. A text! Seriously?! Wow... I hope you let your creative writer have free rein with the "new names".

      Delete
    2. WHAT? a text? really? that's so lame. I have lots of words. I bet some are the same as yours. GRRRRRR.

      hugs to you. I hope you find some time to care for yourself even without the stupid guy.

      Delete
    3. Boooo... and other words that could fit into 140 characters....

      Delete
    4. ((( hot cup))) just saw this. At least you found out early what kind of person he is. Still sucks!

      Delete
    5. hugs from here, hot cup... [hope you have some cheap ugly furniture suitable for kicking]

      Delete
  47. I just stopped by the Preacher Party to say I'm thinking of you and praying for all of you who are proclaiming the gospel tomorrow. It's hubby's turn to preach, so I've got the prayers, liturgy and presiding. After a long morning today with our synod council that was emotionally draining, I'm glad I don't have to try to find the positive energy to write. Blessings, friends!

    ReplyDelete
  48. Whew Hot Cup, you have my prayers and a 'listening ear' for those date names...
    Blessings to all. I woke up from an evening nap and went back to it, with less distraction (house empty) and finished worship and a good edit.

    One more in the morning with hopefully no changes.

    Yay for Holy Spirit's watching our backs.

    ReplyDelete
  49. Back safe home again, TBTG. Good quick trip--seeing my kids always gives me a lift. I've actually been home an hour or so. I had barely put my stuff away when it occurred to me that I should buy some soda and lemonade for the picnic brunch tomorrow, so back out I went.

    I'm feeling "meh" about my sermon but I don't think I'm going to change it now. Last week someone told me that I was "over thinking" the Good Samaritan because wasn't the story obvious? Okay then.

    Have a great Sunday everyone!

    ReplyDelete
  50. ok, seriously. I've tried everything to come up with an opening, but I just don't have one. I probably can't just say "everything you think you know about the cross is wrong." so...yeah.

    Come, Holy Spirit. now would be good.

    ReplyDelete
  51. Teri, if my story about getting a cross-shaped sunburn will help you, post here and I'll gladly share it. Otherwise...not sure. Come Holy Spirit indeed!

    I just wrapped up my sermon...sort of went somewhere I didn't plan for it to go, but at least it got done and wasn't a million words like last week.

    Now to make some "invisible" messages for the children's time and actually get some sleep for a change on a Saturday night! Blessings on all pondering, preaching, and proclamation.

    ReplyDelete
  52. Good morning. Coffee's on and an array of fruit is laid out to see you through all those final edits. Summer programmes ringing the changes for many but still we are collectively a fierce and fabulous bunch for Jesus! Blessing on your worship and on your recovery

    ReplyDelete
  53. Sorry I vanished last night. I was busy and distracted by many things, just like the other Martha.
    Here's my offering: Take the Pot Off the Boil, a title which is my goal for the rest of the day.

    ReplyDelete

You don't want to comment here; instead, come visit our new blog, revgalblogpals.org. We'll see you there!

Note: Only a member of this blog may post a comment.