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Saturday, April 14, 2007

11th Hour Preacher Party: New Day Edition

I don't know about the rest of you, but I always seem to feel a new year begins at Easter. After weeks, nay, months of good and satisfying work, suddenly there is the sense of a tiny break in the church action. At the same time the lectionary points to the new life we find in the knowledge of the Resurrection. I find the combination exhilarating for my own spiritual life.

On the other hand, it usually means a downturn in attendance, particularly for Easter 2. In my part of the world it's the beginning of April vacation for our students, and that impacts who will be in church, too. I tend to find Easter 2 very cozy. How about you? It seems to me that those who sit in the pews or chairs or banquettes (depending on your worship style) on the Sunday after Easter, really want to hear what the scripture has to say about a new day and a new life and a new world in the light of a risen Savior. So even though a lot of Associates, students, supply preachers and retired folks may find themselves preaching today while Senior Pastors take a Sunday off, I say, "Woohoo! What a great Sunday to be preaching!" (Even if you are tired of Thomas.)

This morning I am posting from "away," about to get in my car and drive home. I'll be back with you mid-day. Meanwhile, I'm afraid the goodies I have to offer are all of the carryout variety. Have you tried that Maple Cheddar sandwich at Dunkin' Donuts? It's surprisingly good!


Sunrise at Acadia


  1. wow. i'm never the first to comment.

    songbird- such a lovely intro today... thanks.

    i meant to write my sermon on wednesday... then some excitement on tuesday meant other things had to happen on wednesday... so here i am... a pile of ideas... no sermon... and a service tonight. i'm off lectionary... wanting to read both resurrection appearances in Luke as I won't be preaching the next two weeks (!) and I want to pick up where I left off last week even if the crowd is cozier, and it will be...

    Woke up way earlier than intended because of the sermon anxiety, I think. So... without further ado... I'm going to start writing. My husband assures me there is a sermon in this pile of thoughts, but I'm going to have to winnow...

    He just put water on for tea. I'm not feeling super hungry... I don't think I've much food to offer, but I have a few bags left of a delicious spice tea from Seattle I'd be happy to share.

    Blessings all!

  2. Hey, I am dropping off some doughnut holes, and some homemade pecan cookies. I am one of those not preaching this Sunday. I am one of those taking off this Sunday, it is Spring break and we are headed to the Mtns of North Carolina. So preach well, and enjoy the resurrection appearances of Jesus. Say a little prayer for us for safe travels as it is bad weather all the way. Hoping for good weather for writing, smooth continuous thoughts, no down drafts or straight line winds for you all, but that it just all comes together smoothly. And oh yes, here are some grapes too for munching.

  3. Songbird.... Thanks for the beautiful sunrise picture. Reminds me of home, altough home for me was Southern Maine.

    I am up early trying to get some thoughts together. Three services to preach tomorrow, as SP is out of town.

    It has been a very rough week, but I won't get into that here. So I have very little in the way of inspiration, or preparation for that matter.

    I have a brunch at church at 10:00, which will be followed by some necessary shopping (Stepsister's wedding shower and Mom and Stepdad's anniversary coming right up!). Then I'll be back to the sermon.

    Blessings to all who are working hard this day. I have very little to offer in the way of food! I guess I need to get groceries too!

  4. Kristabeth-- I understand. I do. Three services! Bless you... in all you do today.

  5. I will offer you a few minutes of diversion for you folks. Though I do not have to preach, since I am a pew warmer (and a kneeler warmer) I do think of you folks!

    Go play Trivia Challenge with your fellow RGBP folks - and where is church nerd? She was our last month's winner? Get in touch with me please!

    Go play here.

  6. For the most part, I'm happy to report that I'm done. I worked this week to finish up so that I could start packing up my house! We're moving a little closer to my church soon (it's about a 40 minute commute now), and we've started 'decluttering' the house in preparation for showing Goodness! What you can accumulate!

    Anyway, I'm concentrating on Jesus' words "so I send you." My take is that if God sent Jesus to help us connect with God, and Jesus sent us to help others connect with God, then the better WE are connected with God, the better we'll do our parts.

  7. Good morning, everybody! I wish I had good goodies to offer, but alas I have the same old breakfast staples in the pantry that I always do. Even so, help yourself!

    I am off-lectionary this week. I was so struck by Jan's post and the linked article that I decided to stay in Luke for the road to Emmaus. Yes, I know I did that last year, but not from this point of view. I finished up my draft yesterday, so today's task is to clean it up and make it "purdy."

    Revabi, you are going to be getting mighty close to my neck of the woods. Try to stay dry!

    Looking for ways to entertain energetic kids on what is supposed to be a rainy day almost all day. Wish me luck!

  8. Good morning on this lovely day! I am also not preaching this week -I'm on the traditional week after Easter vacation. I will be out all day today celebrating my birthday with friends. And tomorrow, while the choir performs its Easter cantata, the Husband and I will be wandering the grounds of the Renaissance Faire.

    I have no breakfast goodies but I will leave out a basket of Easter candy for when you all need a chocolate fix later on.

    Blessings on all who write and listen.

  9. *brings some strawberries to the party*

    I actually am done with my sermon already. I decided that Saturday would be my Sabbath this week as opposed to my usual Monday because of a church funeral and a new class I'm teaching on the UM Social Principles. So today I have off! The plans are to get new running shoes and watch the Sox game that we're actually getting on TV down here!

  10. wow. wish i hadn't missed that post from jan earlier this week... as i'm preaching on that text too... and i read jan all time... hmm... ah well... twas good one. hope you can make good use of it, preacher mom.

    i actually have a draft. just waiting for mags to call me back for some sermon chat. i'm grateful a draft came together quickly... i need to really polish and enter the pulpit with as much confidence as possible after the feedback i've received this week...

    still no food here... i'll take a few of those strawberries though... mmm...

  11. Finished a bagel w/veggie cream cheese & an orange cappucinno. Now... headed to church for our whangdo Spring Cleaning. Sermon? oh yes Easter has come... what now? Has it made a difference in our lives this past week?

    I am sharing some of the hurts in our community - many examples of folks who need to hear the message. I love the angel's words in Acts 5 to the apostles... "tell the people the whole message about this life." this new life of Easter... doesn't matter much if we don't share it w/folks who hurt does it? just meandering thoughts - now I have a hot date with Pinesol.

  12. Good Morning all,

    Lots of folks must be taking off this week. Many of you who have responded are already MUCH further along than I am. I traditionally take of this Sunday but foolishly or bravely opted to begin a series,on, of all things -- Revelation! What was I thinking??? Actually, because it isn't well known to most folks, it will offer something a little different in this Easter season and hopefully entice a few who have heard it all before to stay for the post-Easter diminished crowds.

    Songbird, thanks for your perspective. Cozy sounds so much more inviting than the "remnant group" I have often envisioned the Sunday after Easter. After pulling all the stops for Easter, it takes me a while to get back into the swing of things and settling into the new directions and journeys the empty tomb really offers. That's probably why it's usually good for me to be on vacation this week.

    Blessings to all. I don't have much to offer, though my husband made some s'mores mix with cereal, marshmallows, and chocolate chips. Breakfast of champions, no doubt.

  13. After every major Church holiday, I get sick. So, this week I've been sick. I'm attempting to stave off the inevitable strep throat with salt-water gargling, tea, and vitamin C.

    I'm preaching on the Emmaus passage in Luke, since I only went through verse 12 last week and I wasn't feeling really excited about Thomas. I have some ideas, but I guess I'll head off to read Jan's post as well.

    Cathy, today's quiz was definitely not a fun and easy little distraction! 2 out of 10...I suck. Oh, and church nerd blogs at He's on vacation right now, but I'm sure he'll be delighted to know that he won!

  14. I saw the movie Amazing Grace (which was suprisingly! great! have you seen it?) this week, which got me reading and thinking alot about slavery - both ancient nad modern - and about what it means to obey the things of God, etc (I'm in Acts today). But, friends, this is KIND OF A BUMMER and am wishing the Sunday after easter could have some more light.
    Sigh, off to see what I can make of my pile of notes, scribbles and righteousness...

  15. PPB - sure you can play! In fact, you can play even if you aren't procrastinating about a sermon/slideshow/presentation/etc. At least I hope you can, since my goal (which I sometimes actually meet!) is to be finished before Saturday. It's still fun to hang out with the gang. And the idea file grows from the wisdom here every week! (Not to mention all the goodies! Did you say you saw some dunkin donuts??)

  16. Hi pals! Songbird, you make me sorry I am not preaching tomorrow.

    Okay, not really, but almost sorry.

    After a really hideous week of fighting off an abscessed tooth, and feeling loopy because of the painkillers, I am almost feeling back to normal. Thanks be to God for the miracle that is penicillin!

    Spouse and I have a (long overdue and much-needed) play day from about noon today to early tomorrow afternoon. I suspect I will be suspending my fat club rules for the day and will enjoy a nice dinner out, and some champagne later.

    I don't suspect I will blog much, though.

  17. Just brought some herbal tea and flavored (French Vanilla and Hazelnut) creamers to the church for a later use. i offer some of it up now!
    As this is our Joy Sunday, I finished decorating our offering plates with smiley faces since we all know that the Lord loves a cheerful giver! (groan) Bright rainbow and smiling sun cloths are on the communion table and the balloons will be inflated tomorrow morning. Our Not-Ready-for-Sunday-Morning-Players will also rehearse their skit tomorrow morning.
    May your Saturday be graced with peace and JOY!

  18. Morning ladies! Arriving with orange rolls fresh from the oven....

    I actually had three brilliant pages on forgiving and retaining sins done Tuesday. But at least two were focused on the film "The Mission," and with everything that's happened this week I really need to use Imus as the major illustration instead. So I'll set much of what I have aside for a post, or the article/book I have swirling around in my head on this stuff, and start fresh today with y'all.

    Travel prayers for Abi and crew.

  19. I'm going with Thomas and our need to live with questions and doubts... but am not getting very far.... now I have to go out.... be back later no doubt! :-)

  20. chocolate anyone ( the dental kind!)?

  21. I'm back! Off to walk dogs, and then down to work on the sermon. Glad to see others had treats to offer!

  22. I am freaking out. No sermon, no thoughts, too much to do, no time. Why or why did I wait till now?

  23. Good morning ... or afternoon, as is the case for many of you!

    I was going to offer some Great Harvest Cinnamon Chip toast to go with the strawberries, but since it lunch time, Songbird's maple cheddar sandwich sounds better!

    I'm wishing I could visit all of your "cozy" gatherings tomorrow and hear the end results. Since I can't, I'll look forward to reading excerpts here soon.

    In the meantime, prayers for inspired writing and smooth sailing through all the chores of this day.

    And,to those who are out of the pulpit enjoying Sabbath, prayers for safe travels and renewed spirits.

  24. Busy morning for me already. I have youth playing electric guitar and drums tomorrow, their first time. So, had to rehears them and make sure they feel comfortable with everything.

    My sermon is all done, except tweeking, editing, and being preachable.

    I have members of a search committee coming in tomorrow, so I will post the sermon soon and ask you to stop by and give feed back...

    I know, it's hard to read a sermon when you are working on your own, so if you are too busy I understand...

    going to walk dogs then I'll post about 40 minutes....

  25. Gosh, it's quiet. Is everyone napping?

  26. As a matter of fact...

    Last week when I napped on Saturday, I ended up being up in the night with a sick son. This week, strong storms - of which my little ones are afraid - are forecast for tonight. I wonder if that is the last of the good sleep for Saturday?!

  27. Just got home from an unfulfilling shopping trip (for me if I spend the time to go, then what I want had BETTER be there). As a concession to the fact that I am actually in town this weekend, I am rehashing my Easter sermon from 2002 - my first one here.

    It's good, it's upbeat and it talks about what we do now that we have the Good News. The perfect message for a 'cozy' - and most likely soaking wet - crowd.

    Singing Owl, you'll be fine, you always are.

  28. Kristabeth, I was just in your neck of the woods (my son is at Wesleyan).
    And my neck of the woods is your old one! Let me know if you find yourself headed this way.

  29. I wish I was napping. I had a birthday party to attend, and now I'm back to working on the sermon. Any of you ever had a time when you already felt utterly exhausted and drained, and could see no reprieve ahead? That's where I am right now - sick, achey, and weary, with no idea when rest will come. Anyway, back to Emmaus. Anyone want some tea? I assume you all want me to keep my salt water to myself.

  30. Serena, I would love some Great Harvest Cinnamon Chip bread! How I miss my college town where I could walk to Great Harvest for a free slice of bread :) yum yum!

    I am not sermonizing this weekend. I am doing something even more fun ... trying to work my way through a mound of paperwork: FAFSA, seminary financial aid forms, denominational grant forms, scholarship apps, CPE app ... o my!

    Better make that two slices of bread Serena!

    Blessings to all who do have to preach tomorrow.

  31. Well, I've tried to post my sermon on my blog but blogger comes back saying "Internet Explorer cannot display the webpage". This even though I can email and am clearly connected...oy

  32. Odd enough I can post here...*sigh*. Well sermon is in pretty good shape anyway.

    Here's hoping all of you are coming along well with your sermon writing and reflections.

  33. I guess I had too much fun on my trip out of town, because I cannot seem to get to work.
    I'm really going to try, just as soon as I feed the dogs. Funny how important they are to my schedule today, isn't it?

  34. I think I managed to post my sermon and link it:


  35. ((((((((will smama))))))))

    Okay, it is done. I don't know if it is good or not. It is about Jesus and the Ladies. I almost titled it Jesus: The Ladies Man, but I thought that might be pushing it a bit. ;-D

    How is everyone else? Time for me to go find some real food.

  36. Still struggling- and it is past midnight here.... hubby's birthday and sailing club awards evening ( 4 trophies!!!) hasn't helped.... thinking of sleeping on it and catching an early mark tomorrow!
    Prayer appreciated!

  37. Just now home from youth thing today. First Sunday at new church this week. I don't feel ready...sermon is being recycled from several years ago. I miraculously still like it. But recycling always makes me feel a bit disconnected. I should remember that.

    My husband just brought home some chocolate chip and oatmeal raisin cookies from our local bakery. Help yourselves. I sure don't need them all.

  38. My husband asked me what time I needed to get over to church - cared the TAR out of me - "What?! Why?! What did I forget?!"

    Turns out he just figured I had stuff to do for tomorrow. Do I? Am I forgetting something?

    Sermon needs a look over and I need a children's sermon (long story as to why I am now in that club) but other than that I'm good, right?


  39. Eeek! A children's sermon. Thanks for reminding me; I need one of those too.

  40. ditto the eek on the children's sermon. I have *got* to get back in the groove!

  41. Well, I've been clipping along with blog surfing breaks, have the new intro, the section on confession and reconciliation (sacramental and otherwise), and the section on how responsibile retaining and forgiving was shown by the Rutgers women.

    Took a good long lap swimming break and figured I would come back refreshed to wrap it up with some etymology of aphiemi and krateo, but am having a hard time settling and trying to decide if we are really going to do house mass tonight (which would just involve a standard "doubts are fine, and our lives should help dispel them" for the kids--but it's cleaning and setting up and putting off finishing this draft that worries me. Will have to see what I can do by the time Matt and Katie get back from picking up Nicholas at the skatepark.

    Mompriest, glad you got the draft up and I will read it again more carefully later.

    Sally, prayers for sure--hopefully things will be clearer in the morning.

  42. Yep, it's a little more than 12 hours before I preach -- and don't have a little bitty thing on paper. Oh, well, it's a busy day in worship tomorrow (new members, first communion, testimony, .... Oh, and I'm exhausted, still).
    Short, and sweet, right?

  43. Here's where I'm going with the children. I'm going to talk about "peace signs," both the image and the hand gesture and elaborate on how showing a sign of Christ's peace wasn't just saying "hello" but identifying yourself as part of a group, sort of like a secret handshake. Then we'll have the kids share the peace of Christ with the congregation.
    Of course, it's school vacation here, so it may be my kids are the only ones there. I'll make it work, either way.

  44. The sermon is just about done. I think I'll take a break and go work on the Bible study for the adults. Children's Sermon -- oooops, guess I had better think about that, too. It's been a long, dreary, rainy day.

    I generally lurk on the sidelines, reading your posts, but I wanted to say it's been great fun procrastinating with you all!

  45. Instead of a snow day can we have an apathy day?

  46. Looks like we might be having both here; we're supposed to get a big snowstorm in the morning. It just seems bizarre to even think about cancelling church for snow in April.

  47. Pink Shoes, I sympathize. Hope you have at least a little of something short and sweet by now. An apathy day? Are Rev Gals allowed those? Maybe it is the Post-Easter blues, eh? I do NOT want to go to church tomorrow. Wonder how many of my folks feel the same? Man!

  48. Singing Owl,one of my big steeple HoS pastor friends says that towards the end of EVERY April and beginning of May he just wants to look out at the congregation and say, "Haven't we been over this before?"

    G'night everyone - I will go to bed praying for everyone to muster energy, mojo... and raincoats.

  49. I've just completed the final read-through of my sermon, and it is now hot off the press.

    The little ones are asleep in bed, where they will hopefully not be awakened later in the night by thunder.

    Rosemary is propped up in her bed, reading a novel.

    The dog has been walked and all the animals have been fed.

    It is pouring down rain outside - a wonderfully cozy sound.

    I think I hear my own bed and Anne Lamott's newest book calling my name.

    So as early as it is, I will say good night. Blessings on all of you in worship tomorrow - whatever your role, whatever your motivation (or lack thereof). Thank God, it really isn't all up to us. (Oh, and God, help us to remember that!)

  50. Friends, I am hitting the hay. Don't forget the lights!

  51. Okay, Session retreat all day long. Got home home, fed the kids, put them to bed. I've been sitting here for an hour, and I got nothing. Why did I decide to preach Revelation? I've got a perfectly good Thomas sermon I could have reworked! I've never been so late getting a sermon finished. Eeek!

  52. I spent the day doing an Emmaus teaming, which was uplifting and exhausting - BUT - (thank you GOD!) I finished paper #1 (of 3) and just uploaded it!!!(whoosh)

    I have done some preliminary reading about Malachi but can't get a read on WHICH pericope I should do. Malachi 3 on tithing? FUGGEDABOUTIT!

    However, it is not due tomorrow. Leading praise band is, so I am off to rest and sweet sleep before a 6 a.m. rise and shine...


  53. At long last, I am done, and heading to bed (after gargling more salt water - nasty stuff, btw). Good night, and blessings on all of you, whether you're preaching or sitting in a pew or enjoying a morning in bed.

  54. I should mention that I brought a six-pack of Killian's Irish Red for those who are finished or needing a sip of smooth malty goodness before pressing on until dawn...

  55. Back home now, after a three hour dinner with search committe. Oh, my. And I thought I'd have time to tweek sermon tonight. Well. Now I'm going to take it and read it again before I go to bed, hopefully to sleep. (Search committe members very NICE, we had a fun conversation. I am so much less nervous now). Thanks to those who stopped by my blog, and for your comments. I know how busy everyone is, so I do appreciate it! I'll check back in in the morning when I get up to do the tweekings that come from sleep...

    Sweet dreams all! My the Holy Spirit fill you dreams, your thoughts, and your words.

  56. I NEVER thought this would come togehter but after lots of being mean to my family and shutting the door in their face, I finally got it done. Posted at my place, and not as much of a bummer as 2nd Easter Sermon about slavery might sound like it would be.

  57. Well, I think this may be the first time I get the lights at the party. It's finally done--phew. Good content but needed a lot of editing, assisted by the noble Matt, who listened to three repetitions.

    Posted at my place.

    Don't preach it till tomorrow night so comments are welcome...please be gentle with me.

    I am so glad to have had the support today. Thanks.

    Night, all.

  58. Have fun today folks - Iris, you okay? And if you are in the northeast - don't forget your umbrella!

  59. And Mother Laura, you have nothing to fear since I actually stopped posting my sermons because everyone was TOO gentle. Even the tougher revgals just hug you harder (((((((sermon)))))))))

  60. I did get something together, finally! When I was finished I just crashed and fell in bed.


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