Visit our new site at

Saturday, November 10, 2007

11th Hour Preacher Party: Going Postal Edition

Friends, Preachers, Kibbutzers~
Lend me your ears.
After a tough week of wrestling with the texts, I settled on a somewhat edgy theme, thinking to myself, "Self, the pledges will be collected before the sermon begins. You can push the boundaries in your message about having a passion for the Good News."
With that attitude, I wrote most of a sermon on Thursday.
Now we have learned that our Stewardship mailing was lost by the post office. Pledge letters will be mailed, again, on Tuesday (Monday holiday, naturally). There is still time for one more Stewardship message.
Will I find a way to rally the troops on this Veteran's Day Sunday?
Or will I go back to the drawing board?
Tune in throughout the day and see what this preacher does, and let us know what you are doing, too.
Meanwhile, coffee and tea are on the way. We have bananas and apples, delicious whole grain bread, and I might even rise to making an egg if you ask nicely!


  1. Woohoo! Am I really the first one here?

    I have a great angle for Job--life is basically unfair, which demonstrated most clearly in Jesus' life and death--the child of God was executed on a trumped up charge--but we have a Redeemerm someone who will rise and speak for us and lead us out of bondage.

    Now, how do I slip in a Remembrance day reference or two? I've thought of several but none seem to quite work. If anyone has ideas, I'd be grateful.

    Going to work at the church office today to avoid distractions, at least for a while. I have absolutely got to be done with the sermon by 3 pm due to other commitments. I have the beginnings of an outline and know where I want to go, so it should be doable.

    I have some cranberry-orange muffins and free-trade coffee if anyone is interested!

  2. I had to finish the sermon early this week - we are golfing today with another couple. The man has prostate cancer and is scheduled for surgery this week, so this will be the last time we play for a while.

    In my effort to preach a little more from the epistles, I went with the Thessalonians passage. I have it out here for what it's worth.

  3. I've been thinking along the lines of remebrance and lament- and drawing on the psalms...
    posted a few thoughts here on my way to writing a sermon, am I being too bleak?

    Muffins yes please- oh wait it is linch time!!!

  4. I really did mean lunch time!!!

  5. Morning all --- from the pew sitter.
    Praying for sermon writers today!

    Also want to thank Sally for a great Friday Five yesterday -- do you know I have 2 folks that are non bloggers that ask me about the Friday Five every week?

    Last week was a hard one at work for me and I will tell you that the comments I received lifted my spirits so much, so I want to thank you folks -- you DO make a difference!

    So... for you procrastinating types... go find a RGBP blog, maybe one you have not visited or commented on and make their day.

  6. I'm using the text from Haggai to give a small congregation hope and encouragement, "the seemingly hopeless nonetheless holding on to the hope of God's saving action." working my way "down" from the Universal Church to the denomination to the congregation to the individual.

    It's too early for anything but coffee (and why am I up at 5 am on a Saturday?) But there's a fresh pot brewing, so help yourselves.

  7. Morning all, I got a very good start on my sermon on Thursday, but am rallying today to finish up.

    Coffee here--organic, shade grown, fair trade.

  8. Yesterday, late in the afternoon, I got a call from a neighboring pastor asking me if I could preach tomorrow. He has bronchitis and has been sent to bed. Since I subbed for him when he had walking pneumonia in May, I am dedicated to his not getting it again. But ACK! I haven't thought about these texts at all. Or at least not for three years. Plus, I am working at my "real job" today and as I lamented on my blog- I REALLY need a haircut.

    I hope something comes rolling out soon. Or I may be back at midnight. ;-)

    Had McDonalds in the car on the way to the office. But I do have some coffee to share. Latte anyone?

  9. IN the morning I am doing the service at teh LEgion, have a dialogue sermon with one of the young people from the congregation about why we mark NOv 11. Not reallly sure I like what it says but it had to be done by last Monday so that greg could have it beforehand (note to self: should call him today).

    We moved our regular congregational worship to the evening for this week to allow for the LEgion service in the morning. At that one I am talking about the United for PEace program of the UCCan. SEe the church blog for more on that and a link to a page describing the program.

    MEanwhile I will nurse my cough today, oh and go set up for the baptism tomorrow evening.

  10. well, I have a wedding today and the sermon tomorrow and have had a rather packed week, so it's going to be a long day.

    Oh, and no food in the house, so I'm scarfing up all that's on the breakfast bar today.

    Probably won't be back much today, as signing out of my gmail to comment has proven hazardous to my health. (I forgot to re-sign in last time and missed 7 desperate emails from a family member, since I always turn my phone off, too....I'm still in the dog house.) but feel free to visit at my place, and I'll do drive bys all day.

    And today would be an example of why committing to a text 6 weeks in advance sometimes backfires. What was I thinking?

  11. Please pass the cranberry-orange muffins, RP. Pehaps in cyber space I can actually eat something and keep it down!
    No thoughts at all as to the scriptures. Hubbie is using Haggai and I'm down for Luke. At least I'm doing the night service, so I get a few extra hours if absolutly needed. I guess I'll head over to lectionary leanings and gather some ideas.
    WE have a thanksgiving dinner tonight at the church. Why so early? Beacuse the Fish Fry is set for next Saturday and no one wants to have it on a sunday. Not looking forward to it, but if you have any requests I'll be glad to bring back side dishes, turkey, or dessert. Blessings Y'all!

  12. Rainbow Pastor, How about the remembrance in terms of your theme. War isn't fair either to those who fight in it or are victims of it. Veterans can probably tell you that better than anyone.

    cpclergymama, I'm on for a turkey dinner today, too. And Luke. I hope to get something done this morning because I KNOW I'll be much too tired tonight after the dinner. I'll post it when I get it done.

    The turkey is in the oven, and I have a visitation and funeral to go to at noon, then back to the church to help with the dinner.

    Should be plenty of turkey and all the fixin's for everybody. Stop on by!

  13. If anyone needs the cough drops, cough syrup or hot tea, this is the place. I have a meeting with a family this am for a funeral on monday, a lunch gathering, and then have to put together a sermon while addressing the pastoral needs of dropping our funndraiser becasue we as a church can't survive it anymore. There will be several naps in there somewhere!

    Oh, I have muffins too -- full of apples, carrots, dried cranberries and flaxseed. They are really really good!

  14. No pulpit supply this week, but a FB/Birthday party. Even when I am not preaching, I get alot out of all the collective wisdom expressed here. Blessings on all.

    Sidenote: Birthday cake, both chocolate and vanilla, available.

  15. Working on Job and the theme of hope, and hoping to make a connection with Luke as well. And have to shower and go to a funeral in a few minutes, so I'm feeling a little pressure here...

  16. Ouch Songbird. I certainly be thinking of you as you rally the troops. You certainly got an illustration in all that happened. And an illustration in how the military is having to rally the troops to hang in there, and how our Presidency has to keep rallying our country. God be with you and guide you which ever way you go.

    I don't have that much to offer foodwise, even though I have been up since 5:30am. Just here to party with the rest of us as we make it through our Saturday's prep.

    I have a sermon on the Beatitude, Blessed are the Pure in Heart, but you know what, I don't like it, not one bit. So I am mainly praying as to what to do.

  17. I had apple pie for breakfast --there some left if there's any takers.

    Prayers for our sick and almost sick folk, our busy folk too.

  18. If any of you are from the Boston, MA area or have been to Boston, my daughter is traveling to a convention this week. She is a college student and would like some good recommendations for restaurants in the area on a shoe string budget.

    I blogged about it so she can get some suggestions.

    Sorry to hijack the preacher party for this request. Just trying to help my daughter out.

  19. I'm breaking off from the lectionary to talk about spiritual gifts, something that has been pestering me for a while. One would think that might mean it would come easily...we'll see. I have a story and some thoughts, but no flow yet.

    I come bearing coffee, but I see we're already well-stocked in that area.

  20. I'm talking about remembrance generally though will bring in the hope aspects of the Job reading.
    I have some chocolate to offer to the party!

  21. I ought not to listen to NPR's "The Splendid Table" while designing worship --it's SO distracting. My mouth is watering for tacos made from "close roasted" meats. Meat roasted in a tightly closed container in the oven in low heat for 3 to 4 hours, to the point it falls apart at the touch of a spoon ...

    OK. Back to worship.

  22. tacos sound good right now- though I'm cooking up chicken and asparagus pie with baked potatoes and greens- you can tell it is winter!!!!
    As for the sermon---busy going nowhere la,la, la,la,la,la!!!!

  23. My tribute to veterans will be done during our prayer time. We always pray for those who are working, living and fighting in war-torn places around the world, but on veterans day I typically ask the veterans to rise and be celebrated. After worship we will be showing the documentary "Ghosts of Abu Ghraib" and I'm almost certain that we did NOT realize that this was veterans day when we selected the date. Hmm -

  24. Just home from training day - yet more on vocation, this time recognising and encouraging that of others...Need to finish work on alt worship for youth group and start work on Evensong sermon...Remembrance of course...have some thoughts but few words (whereas usually, of course, I have lots of words but few thoughts ;-) )
    Pretty short of offerings for the table, but there are some pringles in the cupboard...sour cream and onion, anyone?

  25. So much hard working already today!
    I spent the morning exercising, going to Weight Watchers (- 2.6, yay!), and spending some time with my now-returned husband. This afternoon we are going to take the dogs to a favorite park, and then I am back to work.
    All the actual treats around here are geared to my current lifestyle, but I would have a hard time saying no to virtual pie later. Anybody baking virtual pie?

  26. oooh - are those muffins still on offer...they sound wonderful :-)

  27. Well, I have gotten to the dreaded "fish or cut bait" point in my sermon: around word 1100.

    I made a pot of the low-cal version of pumpkin soup found on Mary Beth's blog (YUM!)and I have finished up the laundry. That's as much procrastination as I can pull off today. Must get down to it.

    Spouse and I have a hike, a nice bath, some pasta for dinner, then rent-a-movie night planned. With plans that good to look forward to, I want to be done by 2:00! (That's 2 hours from now.)

  28. Where are my manners? If you want the recipe for the soup, look here. (Don't let the post title scare you away!)

  29. Okay, I rallied and got the sermon finished. You can read it here. Now onto my fun afternoon!

  30. Greetings all! I will need to pull out my folder to remember what I decided to preach on and if THAT doesn't send a chill up your spine for the work cut out for me than not much will!

    Glad to 'see' everyone and glad I picked a week to come back when PPB is here - VERY cool.

    Songbird, since it is virtual I made an apple pie and next to it is peach cobbler with vanilla ice cream available in the freezer.

    I am off to make some coffee. Me thinks it is going to be one of those afternoon/evenings.

  31. Oddly, I think my sermon might be done. I still have a bunch of stuff to get ready for tomorrow, so don't envy me too much. Now, off to kill many trees with copies of spiritual gifts inventories...

  32. Well I have accomplished something today!

    I have written a Memorial Prayer for tomorrow mirnoing's service.

  33. Well, because I am a last minute supply, I've reworked the sermon for six years ago but I might be working on it a bit more.

    Songbird, since it's virtual... We have pecan pie with homemade vanilla ice cream. The pie is still a little warm. Or... how about some black bottom pie. A family favorite at our house. The chocolate ganache at the bottom is enough to give you palpitations.

    Now I'm hungry. Anybody got any great ideas for a children's sermon? Do tell.

  34. Argh. I slept until 1 pm today. Not a good sign!

    I'm going with Luke and talking about what it means to be alive to God, and what we can really glean about the afterlife from texts like this (hint: it's not about the questions we usually have).

    That sounds pretty bare right now. I really do have some good notes I made yesterday...somewhere around here...oh well, maybe I should eat "breakfast" first. Frittata, anyone?

    (Sally--I commented on your blog about places to eat in Boston.)

  35. Children's Sermon? Did someone say Children's Sermon?
    Oh, phew. I just remembered we are dedicating their Unicef boxes tomorrow. What a relief!
    Because I really wasn't sure how to present the gospel lesson to children this week. Seriously.
    I will be happy to try a smidgen of each virtual pie!

  36. Alt worship Eucharist sorted - Hugger Steward has done some amazingly clever stuff with video clips and I'm feeling really excited about offering it.
    Which. Just. Leaves. The. Sermon.
    Nearly 9.00 pm here, too.
    A long night ahead.

  37. A prayer to share from Jennifer Phillips, Episcopal Priest:

    Prayer for all of Good Conscience - Veterans Day
    Blessed One whose child Jesus forgave his enemies even as they afflicted and killed him; be with all those acting in good conscience in this time of war. Hold all those who have made great sacrifice in wartime in your light of healing and welcome those who have died into your everlasting arms. Keep the hearts of all your people from hatred, rage, despair, and scorn, and give us the wisdom to listen to the witness of one another’s lives for the building up of the human community to your honor and glory; we pray in the name of Jesus our Peacemaker.
    Amen. (JMP)

  38. Can I quit and become a truck driver yet?

  39. Is it time for popcorn? Tea? Diet Coke?
    What will boost us through the next phase of writing?

  40. Well, I'm 7/8ths done with the sermon. I think it needs some tightening up, but frankly I am way distracted with:
    1)thoughts of the party tonight (good friends and a performance by one of my fav local musicians/friends)
    2) IM conversation with Brit Boy...which is partly about the sermon, to be fair. And helpful--it's making me tighten up my discussion and clear up ambiguities. Which is good. Sort of a dry run.

    I have more coffee brewing, and some macademia nut-chocolate chip cookies for an afternoon pick-me-up/dessert/late night snack, depending on your time zone...

  41. Hi, No sermon tommorrow but I am participating in a Quaker funeral service tonight. I haven't been to a quaker service since I was in seminary. I hope I can keep quiet long enough for the light within to inspire me.

  42. Will Smama: no you cannot, just keep truckin'

    (Sorry, that was too easy. Back to the ezekiel paper) Oh, and I have one bowl left of the 6 qts of chili I made a few days ago... It's really good, but I'm sick of it!

  43. Time for round 3 of the cold medicine, and cup number 345 of tea. It's good tea, and I will share with all who want some. I am wondering if my sister's advice to me to say "Here's the scripture, talk about it for 10 minutes with your neigbor and see what you think God wants you to hear" is really as bad of an idea as I tell her it is.

    There are tons of muffins left. I bake and freeze, so let me know how may to defrost.

  44. Lovely prayer, Ann, thanks.

    Just a simple reflection for house mass tomorrow--though as Songbird mentions the subject is a little awkward for the short people who make up much of my congregation. My writing task today, if I can get up the strength, is to get back to my half finished presentation for the American Academy of Religion meeting a week from today. It's not that long and I love the topic (Perpetua and Felicitas, way cool mothers and martyrs of the early church)--but I am really tired after the last couple weeks pushing myself on recent deadlines so it's hard to get going.

    Good luck, everyone.

  45. It's no use. I simply HAVE to sleep. The sermon will need to come together miraculously under cover of darkness - at least I'm not preaching it till tomorrow evening.
    Night night everyone. Hope the writing and the preaching proceed in peace. Thanks for another good party, Songbird. You DO have nice friends :-)

  46. My brain vomited out 801 words and now it's stalled. I hope my use of the word "vomit" there doesn't mean that that's what the words are.

    You know that question, "Can God make a rock so big that he couldn't lift it?" Are there any other questions in that same vein that occur to y'all?

  47. I read about Perpetua and Felicitas not long ago such an amazing story.
    I imagine my sermon does not stack up! But a draft is complete, and I am going to let it rest and watch a movie with my daughter.
    will smama, woohoo!

  48. Well sermon is done and printed. I'm off to the birthday party.

    Blessings on those still writing!

  49. Sermon is done! Think I know what to do with the kids. But we're taking that one on the fly.

    Althea- have you tried the chili in three way style yet. Over spaghetti with shredded cheese. (Man this blog makes me hungry!)

    Songbird, hope you enjoyed the pie. And as for you Will Smama.... if you decide to drive trucks it will mean more education, training, licensing and of course deciding what color cab to get. Plus you'd need one of those sleeper deals so The Boy could take naps in the back while you were toodling across the country. Personally, I think it would be easier to write a sermon, but then again....

    Peace, people!

  50. Okay, I'm calling this lady for the funeral thing on Monday, and THEN I am making my fritatta for the party. There should be plenty to share--ingredients include tomatoes, mushrooms, and turkey sausage.

    And THEN I am returning to the sermon. Maybe after a row or two of Just one row, I promise.

  51. Er, by "party" I meant this party!

  52. Don't. like.sermon. Saturdays.

    won't anyone come out and play string with me?

  53. Are there any people left at this party?

  54. Okey-dokey, I have got to hit the sack, my friends. I have a draft up at my blog, but I want to sleep now and look it over in the morning. Last one up, get the light please?

  55. I'm back from eating frittata for dinner and trying to get myself ready for the final pushthrough to the end of this sermon. ("Getting ready" also happens to involve eating Halloween candy, knitting a row or two, and checking the interweb.)

    Anybody else out there?

  56. I just got back from dinner (lots of chicken-cheese tortelloni left if you get hungry).

    I finally got a good intro set up and wrote a page of it so hopefully I can get some more done in between two different bedtime song-and-prayer gigs. Luckily Daddy does the mundane bits.

    Stay strong--we can do this!

  57. semfem, I'm here, but only until my computer battery runs out, which I fear is soon. I am typing in the darkness of my room with a toddler who has a cold. Now he is sleeping deeply, but it doesn't take much to get him back into a coughing, snot fit.

    Ain't that a pretty picture?

  58. will smama--poor sick boy! And poor mama, by extension. I hope your battery is stayin' alive...or better, I hope you're long finished.

    As for me, all procrastination devices have now failed and it really is time to write. Why do I sabotage myself so...?

    mother laura--your dinner sounds divine, and I love how you slip academia in between caring for kids.

  59. Okay, I'm in between bedtime routines and done writing for the night, with two more pages added completing the intro and roughing out the conclusion. Need to add in a couple sources, and finish reading one of them, but this turned the corner and got me up to ten pages. Phew.

    Semfem and Wills, thanks for the late night virtual company, and prayers for you both as you hang in and finish up. Good night!

  60. Is anyone still here? I'm preaching Luke. The day has been long and mostly fun wish I could say the same for the sermon.

  61. well, not the long part. I wish the sermon was longer than it currently is

  62. Vicar--I'm here, as usual! It's all Luke, all the time around this joint.

    But seriously, I'm unplugging the interweb and going downstairs where I can write while sitting in a recliner. (Not as risky as it sounds--I'm not tired at all yet. Plus my right leg is hurting strangely and I'd like to elevate it a while.)

  63. semfem, hope the recliner helps the leg. I'm guessing that means I'll be the last one here so I'll get the lights.

  64. I sort of wish I wasn't around at this time of night, because that would mean I was a responsible preacher who went to bed at a reasonable hour....but I am, and I'm not. So, blessings to all who write and preach. I'm going to try to go to sleep now so that I can have more than 4 hour hours of sleep before preaching...

  65. Another irresponsible preacher checking in here!

    Sermon is printed, shower is taken and I'm literally about to fall into bed. But I'm glad there was a soul or two around late at night for companionship.

    Vicar, I hope it all came together...Stacey, I hope you're sleeping soundly. I'm giving thanks in advance for the holy nap this afternoon.

    Blessings on all preaching, proclamation, and pondering today...and blessings as well on any preparation that has yet to happen. :)

  66. Up early on Sunday morning, just getting the last half done. Coffees on, church is unlocked.

    T minus 2 hours, still looking for that perfect finish.

  67. Feared for a moment the cat might erase the whole thing while prancing across the keyboard during a formatting change, but all is well.
    Be of good cheer, friends! Preach the Good News! If you've got a dog, well, maybe will smama will add that part.

  68. If you've got a dog, walk it proud!

    The Holy Spirit has all our backs.

    (For will smama, who has a sick young'in.)


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

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