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Saturday, April 25, 2009

11th Hour Preacher Party: Resurrection Appearances -- for a limited time only Edition

Good morning, gals and pals! Christ is risen, indeed! It will be the third Sunday of (not after, of) Easter this weekend, and the last Sunday where we will have resurrection appearance stories. After tomorrow, we're back to the Good Shepherd, and Jesus in the upper room with his disciples.

Those resurrection appearances: they don't last very long, do they? So what do we do NOW?

So, what are you preaching on this weekend? There's a great discussion of the texts, with some great questions here.

So, where are you today? Are you at Solomon's Portico with Peter and John? In the upper room with the disciples and a piece of broiled fish? Or somewhere or another with John and all of the children of God, dreaming about what we will be "when we see him as he is"?

I'm in the kitchen right now, putting on the coffee (fair trade toffee caramel) and the tea. Would you like an English Muffin or some oatmeal with blueberries? They are full of antioxidants. Or how about a piece of broiled fish? I hear that it is good for you, too.

Let us know your insights, what you are struggling with, your prayer requests, your answered prayers. He is risen indeed!


  1. Lunch time here! I offer the beautiful English garden for you to sit in.
    I often start my sermons with the words ‘Gracious God meet us where we are and then move us on to where you want us to be’ It strikes me that this is what Jesus is doing in the resurrection appearances. He comes alongside us, listens to our wondering and disbelieving hearts, then transforms our understanding of ourselves- God loves us and we are capable of great things. How life affirming is that!
    I pray our little congregation can hold on to that. Our numbers at family communion are dropping. From tomorrow (and I haven’t prepared them for this) we will be worshipping in a different part of our church building to give us a better sense of togetherness. I know that this change will be met with resistance and grumbling. So I am praying that the risen Lord will meet us in our discomfort, encourage us, inspire us and feed us and then move us on to where he wants us to be. (Oh and a thick skin and protection from the grumblers would be nice too!)

  2. I'm not preaching this week, but I just took some ginger scones out of the oven for y'all. Hot chocolate's ready too-- made from scratch with whole milk, fair-trade chocolate, demerara sugar, a pinch each of cinnamon & nutmeg, and a splash of almond extract. Well, heck-- you preacher-thinker types need your nourishment! (In honour of the post-resurrection appearances, there are also smoked kippers on toast for those that want them!)

  3. MaineCelt, you may not be preaching tomorrow, but I hear you rocked last Sunday! (For those who don't know, MaineCelt is a member of the church I serve as Interim, and she has been recommended for our ordination discernment process!!!)
    I'm going off lectionary for a trip to Emmaus. It was the first text I preached at this church, and although I will be there for three more months, this is the last Sunday I will be in the pulpit as fulltime interim. It feels like a good time to talk about the way relationships, understandings and communities live through change. What is the essential truth that guides us? What is the mystery that binds us together? I'm using two texts from the Easter Evening schedule, which doesn't feel too far afield from the week's texts, anyway. I'll be using 1 Corinthians 5:6b-8 along with Luke 24:13-35.
    The church continues to face challenges in its financial life, and I'm concerned about how to adequately lead and guide when I not only go to a half-time schedule but also add another half-time interim beginning on May 1st. Your prayers appreciated!
    And yes, I'll take some of that coffee, Diane, thanks!

  4. This seems to be the year I preach on texts I've never tackled before so I'm doing Luke 24:36-38. I've always preached on I John or Acts...because this story just seemed like it wasn't that different than John's version but of course Luke has something different to say. So I've got my coffee, three cats on my desk, one at my feet and one in my lap and looking around getting ideas....

  5. Ginger scones and hot chocolate sound marvellous, MaineCelt!

    I'm also using the walk to Emmaus, tying it together with eating and drinking--Jesus was known for sharing hospitality with dubious types--and how "he was known to them in the breaking of the bread" and then he proved his reality by eating the fish. Something about nourishment and the body and God's presence with us in (our) bodily form... As you can see, mostly just ideas at this point.

    I haven't read the Tuesday Lectionary Leanings yet, but I'm curious about how folks are handling the anti-Semitism in the Acts passage. Normally I would engage it--but this year we need to talk about hospitality and God's presence within us--so I'm not even having it read (because then I would feel the need to talk about it and do some teaching).

    I am firing up the grill for the first time this year tonight--probably lemon garlic chicken, but haven't decided yet. So I can offer dinner later...right now, well...bagels, anyone? I do have cream cheese for them!

  6. Ok, I had this weird dream last night that I was one of the disciples who saw Jesus on the beach whilst eating broiled fish. I actually put my fingers in his holes. I am a little unhinged.

    More coffee please.

  7. Coffee would be great.
    I have cereal with fresh strawberries. I am dreaming of the time in the near future when I can offer up fresh (local) ones.
    Maddy is watching the birds and I am waiting on the electricty guy to begin work for the manse.
    He may have power off, and so I may have internet access cut.
    Oh sarah, love the prayer!
    I am on luke text and even titled my sermon "A Piece of Brolied Fish"
    Have a good one, hope to be back with you soon.

  8. Just wondering how the brolied fish was prepared.
    I watch too much food network.
    I am guessing they did not have lemon pepper or butter/lemon/paprika

  9. That's the recipe *I* want, 1-4 Grace!

  10. 1-4 Grace, I want that recipe too! Here's another round of coffee for everyone.

    Welcome! I'm mostly preaching on Acts today and tomorrow, talking about living as if Jesus really rose from the dead and asking the question, what do we do "in the name of Jesus."

    I have a funeral first, though, and "lunch with the pastor" time with some of the Sunday School children.

    So, it's a busy day.

    Joelle, I have a great image of you with the cats. I've often thought that about this particular story from Luke.

  11. Whew, that turned into a long comment for a hostess.

    Acts presents its own challenges. Peter's harsh message can turn into "blaming the Jews" if we aren't careful. I want to remember Peter's own repentance/denial, and his experience of Jesus' love/reconciliation.

  12. Opps, that should be broiled fish. Lets hope that is not what I put in the bulletin!

  13. But Brolied sounds interesting. It could be a conflation of broiled and rolled, roll it in something delicious, then broil it?

  14. Apparently I am easily entertained this morning.

  15. My electricity guy is still not here.
    Hmmm, did I mention the part where I get up early, get like actually dressed and all?

  16. No, you didn't mention that. up early? good for you.

  17. Good morning, preachers. I slept in this morning because I stayed up way too late playing Scrabble! I am preaching the 1 John passage about being children of God. We have a baby dedication tomorrow, so it is a good fit - kind of a warm fuzzy sermon for me.

  18. But up early and dressed, and then he didn't show up? That's no good.

  19. 's a good thing I don't have a sermon to write because I've just spent 10 minutes trying to find out how people cooked fish in the time of Jesus.

    It's taken me down some very interesting Googley rabbit holes.

    Will report back if I find a recipe.

  20. MB, we had a kind of side-track conversation about that in my Bible study on Wednesday. be interested in what you found out.

    I found out that what I was going to wear to the funeral is in the wash. So I am washing clothes. also, I can't find any of my black clerical shirts. It's still a little dark in the bedroom (my husband is sleeping), but still....

    I can tell it's going to be a day.

  21. Well, as intriguing as fish facts can be, I think I'll go with a "Peace be with you" infused by "repentance and forgiveness of sins." I hear lots of heat really brings out the flavor

  22. Ok I've always thought of broiling anything is having the fire above the fish rather than below so that the fat would drip down.

    Unless the disciples knew something I didn't there must have been some kind of miracle of the cooking going on. Just sayin...

  23. I have this so far:

    * a first line: "It is probably the most important piece of fish in the Bible."

    * a story about my recurrent dream about Jesus talking to me in the back yard of my early childhood

    * my bobble-head Jesus

    Not much, is it?

  24. Cheese, I have a Jesus on spring on the dashboard of my car, does that help?

  25. As in "I don't care if it rains or freezes, long as I got my dashboard Jesus, sittin' on the dashboard of my car?" G_G?


  26. I am well underway (Preaching John 21)! Sarah, I like your thoughts and think I'm headed in a similar direction. Had an enlightening conversation with the church custodian this week -- I was pumped about the 3x denial/3x love me thing and then she pointed out that it seemed kind of "mean" to her that Jesus would do that to Peter.

    After some time with Herman Ridderbos & Raymond Brown, I think the text is not so much looking back at his failure but looking forward to his lifelong ministry & martyrdom. And love of God is going to HAVE to be the sure foundation for that. (kind of like a parent making sure that their kid has everything she needs for camp -- are you sure you've got what you need? Make sure to remember our love!)

    This is going to dovetail perfectly with Installation of Elders & Deacons + I have the luxury of preaching a little shorter (which, in my context means 15 instead of 20) because of all the other hoopla.

    For now, the tea water is screaming and I need to get cozy & down to business!

  27. I'm sticking with Peter & John this week and am focusing on the amazement/wonder factor (sermon title: Wide-Eyed Wonder)and how that helps us understand the resurrection in our lives and in our time.

    As far as the anti-Semitism, I'll talk some on ignorance and remind them of Peter's denial and the disciples ignorance throughout their time with Jesus. We didn't get it, you didn't get it but now God has acted pretty loudly and clearly...shift the focus again to what God did instead of what "we" did or didn't do.

    Now back to my blank page. If anyone has some good coffee, I'd be very grateful. We got a bad batch here and it's just yuck...

  28. the sermon needs a conclusion. the children's sermon... needs everything. any ideas out there???

  29. The guy did actually show up at 9AM.
    Anyhow, I did slightly drift off to sleep watching the Today show. Something about a purrring kitteh in my lap.
    Anyhow, no sleep now the guy is drilling and flipping breakers, and banging and blamming stuff.
    My plans to work on sermon while I am home bound, may not go so well.
    It is beautiful out and I still have a planter to pot with a mix assort. and then one more herb which needs a spot in the ground.
    Then, I got 4-6 pks of marigolds at the grocery store. I need some color in front. Can't wait to have ample supply of tomatoes, herbs, etc.
    I like your beginning Cheese.
    Preach own, Gals and Pals.

  30. In the face of those things in our world that deal out death in all its many forms do people want the transforming power of resurrection or the more comfortable choice of resuscitation?

    That is the question I am asking this week.

  31. Ooh...Gord, I like that question! I'm not so sure I would like the answer, though.

  32. The follow-up question of course is what is Easter about?

    When we get drawn into arguments about the "truth" (meaning facticity) of bodily resurrection I believe we miss the point and turn resurrection into Divine CPR.

  33. Divine CPR.

    I think many of our churches long to be brought back from the brink of death, when they should be (in medical parlance) a "no code".

  34. Reminnds me of our conversation about Jesus having been "completly dead" and not partly or mostly dead.
    As Miracle Max would say there is a difference between them.

  35. My "what fish would Jesus eat?" survey turned up a recipe that, while it might not be His choice, will probably be mine for dinner.

    It's at the bottom of a very long post about other things. See what you think.

  36. Wow God_Guurrrlll - awesome dream!! I can see where it might have been unsettling, but see where it takes you spiritually today...

    Joelle - isn't that how everyone writes sermons?????

    Cheese - you're off to a good start. I'm not preaching tomorrow. Can I come to your church? If only....

    Aw rats. "Divine CPR" and "no codes" - all great themes and sooooo fitting for our congregation right now, and I'm not preaching. Now I wish I was....

    Happy fair trade and ginger scones (um, YUM!) to you all. I'm off to an afternoon workshop on yoga, meditation and hypnotherapy. It's a three hour workshop that I've really been looking forward to for a long time. Catcha on the flip side when I'll be all mellowed out and meditative.

  37. just popping in to say: I'll be back. like Jesus, briefly. LOL!

    I have a funeral for someone I didn't know in an hour (oh, the funeral home funerals...sigh), then my youth are doing a service project at the food pantry, and THEN I can sit down to write.

    I'm doing something with the emmaus-follow-up, in the room with the peace, the fish, and the opened minds turning scaredy cats into witnesses. something, but I don't know what.

    I look forward to reading everyone's stuff when I get back this afternoon!!

  38. Gord - I like that question. That's good sermon stuff right there!

    My sermon is out there, and I am now off to exercise and spend part of the day on the back porch enjoying the warmth!

  39. it's all about new creation.

    except that I have a funeral in about an hour. so I won't be around for awhile.

    party on, gals and pals.

  40. Hey Hot Cup... if your sermon makes use of the whole broiled fish thing, what about engaging the kids in conversation about "surprising tastes"? You could maybe ask if they've ever taken a bite of something and been really surprised by the flavour...

    or prep two little dishes, one with sugar and one with salt, then invite them to "taste and see." Then you could talk about Jesus being "the salt of the earth" and how his love also sweetens our lives?

    You could also talk about God being with us and understanding how hard and how fun it is to blessed with a real body, how Jesus got to live in one too, and how our senses can help us wake up to God with us and around us.

  41. Out of sheer desperation and fear of running out of time (I have a funeral today) I wrote a draft of my sermon last night....

    I've been toying with the sentence from Acts "The Author of you life" and pondering my expereince of going to the Festival of Books here in March. At that Festival I got to hear Billy Collins speak and read his poems - and as a result reading his poetry is a completely different experience for me. Who is the author of our life? How does that author speak into our doubts? Just a few of the things I'm brewing over....and as I explained at the BE, in a 1000 words or less....sigh...

    I have Fair Trade coffee with cream and local honey....but not much else...would love a ginger scone!

  42. A lot of funerals today. Prayers for those who are doing them.
    Tough job, but still say I'll do 10 funerals to 1 wedding gladly. I do enjoy seing young, middle, and older couples begin life together, but the stuff that goes into any wedding is a pain.

  43. Gord, that question is right in line with where I am!

    I'm actually going to use 1 John throughout this season of Easter and we are walking through our UM membership vows: Prayers, Presence, Gifts, Service, Witness.

    I'm actually using last week's 1 John passage and the idea that we need to walk in the light - where we can see not only where we are going, but how far off base we are.

    Which leads to the Luke passage. Jesus has risen and yet they are still hanging out, huddled together. As a congregation, if we let the light of Christ shine upon us will it show that we are just huddled up waiting for God to act, or will it show that we are out there in the world, as the hands and feet of Christ.

    I'm especially going to focus on the idea that the power of the Holy Spirit that those disciples were waiting for - yah, it came already. We have it already - so why are we still huddled in a room together?

  44. Sue...I so want to join you at that workshop....

    well, I have posted the draft...let me know if I am completely daft thinking this will preach...LOL

  45. Meg - remember that the 3x love thing was so that Peter could make up for the 3x denial thing... I'm positive, that when Jesus asked him the 3rd time, that Peter remembered hanging out in that courtyard and was so relieved that he was given the opportunity to take each one of those denials back.

  46. Wow, I feel like I'm off on my own tomorrow. I'm preaching on Psalm 4. Verse 1 just completely grabbed me, especially the alternative translation in the New Interpreter's Study Bible notes: " You widened the path for me when things got narrow." It's been slow going, but I think it's coming together. I'll post it as soon as it's done.

  47. grey sheep - i'm tackling that one next week!

  48. I could use some prayers for focus - I've been at my computer for two hours now and have done little constructive on my sermon besides posting here. I've been everywhere else in the world but in "sermonville"

  49. The 3x thing DOES look back on Peter's failure but only so that he can move forward with strength and confidence into what God has called him to now. And that's the good news piece I want to capitalize on.

    The sermon is here

  50. I'm here working on the Luke passage.

    Katie Z., go scrub the bathroom, any bathroom. I find this organizes thoughts and returns one to writing. I'm serious.

    Glad to be with all of you.

  51. Resurrection vs. there's a lot there to chew on. I'm also cheating the lectionary and preaching on Emmaus.I just finished skimming Nouwen's "With burning hearts" but haven't found too much there to work with since we're not doing Eucharist tomorrow. Good book though. I'm contemplating a guided meditation, though I've never done that for a sermon, and don't know what that would look like.

    It's a warm, windy, cloudy day down here in the land of already summer, and I'd love to be outside with my love weeding and cleaning in the yard, taking advantage of a cooler day, but alas, I'm stuck inside working. REALLY hate losing my saturdays to sermons. I don't know how you longtime solo pastor preachers do it. I'm hoping to have a sermon by 2...don't think it's going to happen though.

  52. thank you maine celt... good ideas there! my sermon (for the adults and such) focuses on using all 5 senses... i'm sensing a theme. heh heh heh....

  53. Well laundry is done (or at least hanging) and I went to buy a nut for the bathroom light cover since the old one went swimming and forgot to come back.

    Now I hear OOTP calling to me...

  54. G_G - how might those holes in Jesus' body mirror holes in you? Just thinking metaphorically....

    Chilly has a good sermon, I enjoyed reading it...

    St. C - I cleaned the kitchen but it didn't help. so I guess it's now off to clean the bathroom...sigh

    BUt first I think I'll walk the dogs....

  55. just got back from the funeral and on my way to Imax with some Sunday School children. Whew! a whirlwind. I hope what i wrote yesterday is good enough for 5:00 tonight....

  56. Back from church clean up day. Now off to prom preparations with the Wonder Girl. Will this sermon ever get written?

  57. Enjoyed the discussion, however, I am up to my armpits (not quite eyebrows) in finishing my last paper of the semester... a look at re-imaging the Trinity. My prof, who is an avowed traditionalist and complementarian will likely NOT like my feminist and egalitarian, more process theology slant.

    Tough noogies. (boy, I'm getting bold in my old age.)

    Prayers for you who preach to be bold!


  58. I fell asleep without meaning to, if you can call lying on the couch with your laptop and Kindle and closing your eyes not meaning to, and now I must revive, if not resuscitate or resurrect, and get to work! I wrote a little bit this morning before I took Sam out for a ramble, but did not get very far. Your collective ideas about the broiled fish passage make me wish I had stayed with it, but I guess I am getting at the same things with Emmaus.
    As for the Children's Word, when in doubt, just tell the story. It's two weeks after Easter, but because that day is SO important, we're still talking about the things that happened later, after the part about the tomb and the women, etc. That's my plan.

  59. Hi ladies! Stopping in to give my support, but not share in the pondering. We have a worship drama tomorrow, so I am not preaching. I am baptizing which is fun. I think this arrangement even beats a week off altogether after Easter. I'm around, but I'm not preparing a sermon. Going away is sometimes harder than staying. Anyway, I hope all is well and the writing is going OK. I'll back up and read and see how things are going!

  60. Back from the funeral, wondering why on earth I was possessed to pick the 1 John text, and really sleepy.

    I think a 30 minute nap followed by some more writing is a good plan.

    Can we get the ginger scone recipe? Sounds yummy!!

  61. Spent the morning at the salvage yard and Habitat ReStore. Found the car parts we needed, so that's good. Haven't gotten much more done on my sermon beyond what I posted on the Leanings Tuesday. Son is acting (and feeling) sickly, daughter is puttering through those soon to be a graduate tasks. Husband went in to work. I really want to be outside. Maybe I should go read outside, or use the need to print bulletins as an excuse to go for a scooter ride. Need to go to the grocery store, too.

    So much to do, so little decisiveness.

  62. WEll the movie is over. How long until #6 comes out????

    TIme to head over to the church to check on the water on the boiler room floor....

  63. cheese - you got me humming now "i dont care if it rains or freezes..."

    sherev - "Going away is sometimes harder than staying." you are so right, sister. just went away OVERNIGHT and came home to a gazillion little tasks that needed doing.

    NOW, however, I am actually in my office for a several hour stretch (kudos to hubby for taking the boy to tball on a drizzly, 48 degree day -- brrrr) and getting down to business on my sermon.

    Not on lectionary this week, as we are dedicating our organ this week. So it'll be Psalm 150 for scripture and then lots of other scriptural passages on music woven together with some minimal commentary by me.

    Questions: (maybe this is one for your googling, MB) - Did Jesus ever sing? Besides that bit right before Gethsemene where they "sang a hymn" ?

    And for anyone - Have you seen the Soloist yet? I'm not going to get to it before tomorrow, but it would be the PERFECT thing I'm sure.

    And - if you want to share a Moving Music Moment from your life, that would be help.

    Hoping I wont derail all your fishy resusitation ponderings here....

  64. I am here, pondering Jesus and disciples and broiled fish, and finding some key insights based on what you all have shared so far.

    Amen She Rev--I am getting ready to finally go on vacation (first since right after Christmas) and the to-do list is LONG and scary. In many ways it would be simpler to stay here and find guest preachers.

    V. sleepy as well--it's our first spring warm-up (low 80s!) and I haven't had a proper night's sleep in...a week, maybe?

  65. Anybody hungry yet?
    Here is a recipe for Broiled Tilapia Parmesan!!!!
    1/2 cup Parmesan cheese
    1/4 cup butter, softened
    3 tablespoons mayonnaise
    2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
    1/4 teaspoon dried basil
    1/4 teaspoon ground pepper
    1/8 teaspoon onion powder
    1/8 teaspoon celery salt
    2 pounds tilapia fillets

    Preheat broiler. Grease pan or line pan with foil.
    In a small bowl, mix together the Parmesan cheese, butter, mayonnaise and lemon juice. Season with dried basil, pepper, onion powder and celery salt. Mix well,set aside.
    Arrange fillets in a single layer on pan. Broil a few inches from the heat for 2 to 3 minutes. Flip the fillets over and broil for a couple more minutes. Remove fillets from the oven and cover them with the Parmesan cheese mixture on the top side. Broil for 2 more minutes or until the topping is browned and fish flakes easily.

  66. Juniper: moving music moment...there are more than I can count. I would much rather preach that sermon than the one I'm stuck on...walking to emmaus but JC has not shown up yet to reveal himself to me. Argh.

    Music was all the preaching I ever needed growing up. I learned more about grace and redemption listening to Tchaikovsky's 5th Symphony than I ever have reading words on the page or listening to a sermon. I believe JEsus was the Word of God incarnate, but I wonder sometimes if he was supposed to be the Song of God incarnate and the translaters got that wrong. "In the beginning was the Song, and the Song was with God and the Song was God..."
    Brian Wren and some other famous theologian before him said when we sing, we pray twice. And I always liked the Psalm, not sure which one, you can google it, "By day the Lord directs his love, at night his song is with me, a prayer to the God of my life."
    Yeah, would much rather preach that sermon. Good luck!

    I've officially hit the *banging my head against the wall hoping a sermon will pop out* moment. *sigh*

  67. The sermon... on Psalm 4... is here.

  68. Wow, Juniper, thanks for asking that question. If you Google "did Jesus sing" you will find several really good and thoughtful blog posts. Fascinating.

  69. I'm going to forget what to do soon. Haven't written a sermon since mid March - been using reflections and meditation and all age messing about. But, did have a wee encounter with the lakeside text this week -on the beach. I've stopped by here just the same every week and, reading all the inspiration always makes me (almost) wish I were preaching a sermon. So many great ideas. I too would love that recipe for ginger scones (not biscuits?). We're on comfort food tonight- mac n cheese and low fat custard poured over choc swiss roll. Please help yourself so that I don't consume too many calories.

  70. The kids have woken up and my husband, having returned from softball practice, accepted an invite to go hit golf balls. I'm feeling stupid enough to try taking both kids to a movie by myself. I want to see Earth on a big screen! 99 minutes + popcorn (hopefully)= happy almost 2 year old. Not too worried about the 4 year old.

    Wish me luck!

  71. Kim in KCK: I *LOVE* the Habitat ReStores! Probably found at least 1/3 or our building materials there for our woodshop-to-house conversion.

    KnittinPreacher: I'll post the scone recipe when I get home in a couple of hours. I'm on wireless at work and can't lay hands on my recipe books.

    Jam. The best trick is to fold in some chunky ginger jam. Barring that, use the kind of candied ginger that comes in sugar-cube-sized pieces. A pinch of cardamom is nice, too.

  72. Liz-- my scones may be slightly different than the scones you're used to--about halfway between soda bread and an American (fluffy, buttery, raised) biscuit, with some added sweetness. I only use butter, never lard, shortening or margarine--mostly because my grandfather had a dairy farm and butter is our drug of choice!

  73. took a "dozing nap" and and am now back at it. Of course I am in the hottest room of the house! I'm thinking popcorn for dinner when I get around to it.

    Sermon? what's that?

  74. nutella, it's Augustine that Brian Wren quotes--"the one who sings prays twice." we mention that a lot around our church!

    I'm back from the funeral (quite an adventure) and the food pantry (cleaned from top to bottom with the help of only 3 youth, 2 parents, 2 youth leaders, and me). I don't have even the slightest idea where the sermon is, so I'm letting my iTunes play the music for tomorrow (well, what I have of it anyway) and hoping for inspiration.

    And, of course, I'm hungry: brie and pretzel slims, anyone?

  75. Teri - -sign me up! I need a closer trader joes!

  76. back briefly now, going to preach my half-backed sermon. it's not bad, but I feel like I skirted some issues and i don't like it when I do that.

    really getting my brain around resurrection, actually, as opposed to "heaven".

  77. Sermon is pretty much done...I'll polish it up a bit ither tonight or tomorrow morning.

    Feeling tired and depressed and cranky...knowing I shouldn't be, too. After all, sermon is done before bedtime, I got to grill (BBQ drumsticks, anyone?) and I have a great book on medieval Welsh kings I'm going to dive back into (really!).

    Perhaps early bed is in order--it what I would do for an out-of-sorts child, which is what I seem to be this evening!

    Blessings to you all as you bring God's word...give 'em heaven, give 'em Jesus, walk it proud!

  78. I've got three paragraphs! Can I be done now?

    yes, you can be done, kittinpreacher.

  80. Yeah, I've got nothin'.
    Well, I've got ideas, but they aren't formed into a sermon. Which I hate to admit with a church member reading here, but it's the truth.

  81. Well WG is off Prominating for the last time. Those of you who know me in the spachook sense can look for pictures later tonight.

    Now to flesh out my 500 words or so...

  82. Just now checking in after spending all day at a women's retreat for our area in our church.

    I led closing worship ... do I really need to preach again tomorrow ... ?

    Oh, and a church member died yesterday and I met with the family after the retreat.

    I'm ready to call it a day.

    Do I really need a sermon tomorrow?

  83. Teri - can I join you for dinner? Yum!

  84. Dancing with God--any chance you can reduce, re-use, recycle? it is only a few days after Earth day, after all!

  85. sorry I haven't been "mindfully present" much today. I am offering burgers for supper for anyone who is hungry.

    Also a half-baked sermon I might post, needs some finessing or some something-ing. (sigh)

    I don't know why I always get a little nervous when I start telling people that "Christ lives in them."

    I'll be reading more intently this evening. and revising, too.

  86. Well I did it--I just wrote the sentence about my bobble-head Jesus.

    I may be either a genius or a lunatic. Not that those are the only two choices...

  87. cheese, I am pretty sure those choices are not mutually exclusive. They may in face be synonyms :)

  88. face=fact

    oh well, at least I am pretty

    oops, not that either.

  89. Anybody who wants to borrow from the sermon I preached last week has my full permission-- it's about embodiment and feasting and early Christians, so most parts should work as well this week as they did last week.

    (Anybody, that is, except Songbird, whose people will have heard this stuff already. Sorry!)

    P.S. Songbird, don't be afraid to admit your sermon isn't done in front of me. It's comforting to know that your ministerial superpowers aren't so far beyond mortal reach! ;-)

  90. Oh. Forgot the link for last Sunday's sermon. Material available for borrowing may be found here.

  91. It's okay, I'm getting there.

  92. ok, so we have now reached the point where I have written myself into a corner. which means time to make popcorn, pour a Diet Coke and come back in 15 minutes to try again. Can I make popcorn for anyone else, or offer a soda? I also have Diet Vernor's.

  93. Tir na nOg Farm Ginger Scones:

    2 cups unbleached flour (wheat or spelt)
    1 Tablespoon baking powder
    2 Tablespoons unrefined sugar
    1 pinch sea salt
    1/2 tsp ground ginger
    1/4 teaspoon cardamom
    1/3 cup candied stem ginger or ginger jam/marmalade
    1/2 cup cold butter
    2/3 cup milk

    Preheat oven to 425 degrees F (not sure what temp is in Celsius, sorry.) Combine dry ingredients in mixing bowl. Cut or rub butter into dry ingredients. (I slice it in, then use my hands to rub it into small flakes. You can use a pastry blender or food processor, but don't overmix. The flakes/crumbs of butter help create a good texture during baking.)

    Make a hollow in the mixture. Pour in the ginger and most of the milk. Stir/fold gently until dough clings together. (Add the rest of the milk if it's too dry.)
    Turn dough out onto floured surface. With well-floured hands, knead briefly and gently, then roll or pat out dough to thickness of 1 inch. Cut into triangles, place on baking sheet, and bake about 10-15 minutes or until slightly browned and springy to touch.

    Baking from scratch can be a lovely meditative process. I have a strong mold & yeast allergy, so this is the closest I get to bread-making. I really enjoy working the dough by hand & with a wooden spoon. I also try to source my ingredients locally as much as possible, so I can feel a stronger connection with Creation as I use them. If you want to engage in a "baking meditation" but don't have time for yeast-bread baking, try making a batch of these scones instead!

    Taste and see...

  94. knittin preacher, I feel your pain. I also stuck myself with the 1 John passage and have wound up doing something I HATE, which is just focus on that first verse and ignore the rest of it. I really, really, don't like to do that, but at this point...well, it won't be a terrible sermon.

    Children's sermon? Ugh. Prayers? Ugh. Tired esperanza tonight...we've had company, been working on ahead-of-time packing, festival at hubby's church today. Whew.

  95. wow, peeps, 94 comments and it's only 7pm central! crazy!

    I read the scripture and listened to the songs, read and listened, and then decided to "meditate" by taking a much-needed nap. Now I'm again munching on brie and pretzel slims, contemplating the possibilities of green bean casserole, and drinking Dr. Pepper. I'm also hoping desperately that a plan will form in my head soon.

    My sermon title is "an open book" and I *think* I was thinking about how the changed reality made real in Jesus' snack helped them to hear when he opened the scriptures...a la tuesday's prompt here...and then how we as the body of Christ are to be witnesses--aka an open book that people can read to know the changed reality. or something like that. I may also have been thinking about telling stories as the means of opening hearts--since we did the Emmaus Road last week and this text opens with the disciples still telling their stories from those encounters, and then Jesus tells them his story and they understand, and then he asks them to tell the story too.

    I'm on a story kick, can you tell?

    Also, our congregation is about to begin a season of dialogue in which we contemplate becoming a Covenant Network church (similar to being Open and Affirming in other denominations), and the first event is this coming Wednesday. Allowing ourselves to be open to the stories of others is much on my mind, but I also want to steer clear of sounding like I have an agenda about that. that I've rambled here, I suppose I should get my act together. Can I start with something like "I don't *think* I believe in ghosts, but who knows?"

  96. Hey... still no takers on my smoked kippers? They're brain food... C'mon, get with the fish!

  97. ok, I"m almost there too. I have a helper for the sermon and I promised him the script by 5 - so I'm late, but not too late, I hope.

    mmm, diet verners. Grandma, is that you?

  98. Well I, like Knittin preacher am preaching 1 John and I decided to rely heavily on Ronald Cole-Turner's theological perspective in Feasting on the Word. So much so that i'm mentioning him right after my intro.
    What do you think of that? I figure it is the only fair thing when I'm so heavily using his work. Otherwise I'd just footnote my script.
    anyway, it was church work day and I need a shower so this will have to be it! best wishes to all.

  99. Teri: a CovNet church? Really? So cool. And would make that church really attractive to candidates of a certain ilk. Just sayin'...

  100. The Bearded Brewer made soft tacos for us tonight while I have been typing. We ate them all up, but there's tortilla chips with lime left... Help yourself! Oh - I think he has a fresh keg about ready to rack and then tap, so stop by later after the ale has chilled. ;)

    Me, I'm back to explaining contemporary images of the Trinity which are not soley masculine in inference...

    Paper's due Monday, so if I get it done tonight I will be editing tomorrow afternoon.

    peace on ya, preachers...

  101. Thanks Maine, for that recipe....I am sooo keeping it!

    I'm back. One funeral down, three to go, as my altar guild said to me today.....sigh...

    In the mean time....I have to have another look at that draft of a sermon.....and wonder what I might do to make it work???

  102. I now have everything except a conclusion. Have you seen mine?

  103. Songbird - -you could borrow my 2 favorite " I need an end but don't know how to get there" endings.

    1) That's good news indeed!
    2) Thanks be to God for....

  104. I'll go you one better, kp:

    Only you can write the ending of this story...

  105. cheese--I know, believe me! I know...

    I'm now using all the songs, prayers, and languages I know to summon the Holy Spirit to write this sermon already. Do you think she'll listen?

  106. Ooh, I like it, Songbird! I was always a fan of those "Choose Your Own Adventure" books, where the reader had the option to make choices along the way and follow different plot twists to all manner of surprising conclusions...

  107. I am feeling a wee bit worried. Slumber party boys here until 9, then off to a diocesan meeting, then hospital visits. Church auction tonight (um, now, actually, it appears from the clock I just checked). 3 hours in between to write sermon. Just then, my husband had a motorcycle accident. He is scraped up and sore but appears okay, thank God! However (and only you all would understand that this not a small "however" nor a dismissal of my relief at his being okay), I am now looking at a very late night of writing after the auction. Perhaps it is a good thing that my sermon theme, for our patronal festival, is God using us as we are, less than perfect and not always even at our best :-o

  108. Cheese - in honor of Earth Day (and a long day at the church, let's just be honest) all the prayers in the service will be recycled!

    The sermon is almost there. All I can say is thank God for baptisms and sermons that can be 5 minutes shorter because of them.

    Praying for Holy Spirit inspiration and words for those who write on.

  109. ok, done and sent - an hour late - but I kind of like it. Hope it goes over. And it's nice to be done before o'dark am tomorrow - my usual time.

    so in am - prayers and other incidental words and I just heard from the pastor I had when I was in JUNIOR HIGH and who I havent seen in 25 years, who is in town from across the country and coming by for church tomorrow. So, more nervous than usual, but trying to remember it's Not About Me.

    Prayers, Betsey. Ooo, that is SCARY.

  110. MaineCelt - that is a fine sermon!

    Songbird - reminds me of the end of the Muppet Movie: "Life's like a movie write your own ending, keep believing, keep pretending ..."

  111. Ok...I am saving every one of these conclusions...including the muppet one - 'cuz I always get stuck at the end.

    Betsy...sorry about your husband..and your schedule yikes!!!

    I have done nothing with my sermon since I got home...lost myself in a FB I'm going to fix dinner (roasted chicken with salad)....and then I'll have a look at it...

  112. "He Walked Ahead," and I'm walking away and calling my work done.
    Pass the ice cream, okay?

  113. Also, "ministerial superpowers," heh.

  114. mompriest, the good news for you is you're three hours earlier than some of us!

  115. sooo sleeepppyyyy.

    Also? still no children's sermon. Also? I'm afraid to go look in the closet; I might have to do laundry to have some clean church clothes for tomorrow. Also? Did I mention I was tired?

  116. Betsy-- grace and peace to you in the midst of nerve-wracked sermon-crafting! So thankful your husband is not badly hurt. Certainly sermon-fodder, indeed! Here's one of my favourite quotes on that theme:

    "Must everything whole be nibbled? Here was a new light on the intricate texture of things in the world...the way we the living are nibbled and nibbling--not held aloft on a cloud in the air but bumbling pitted and scarred and broken through a frayed and beautiful land." --Annie Dillard, "Pilgrim at Tinker Creek"

    Maybe that's too maudlin for some, but I read hope into the double promise of movement and beauty.

  117. hi all. i'm having a very hard time concentrating and writing. my hometown of athens ga has had a tragedy that is affecting so many lives of people i love. if you've time to pray, send one up for this hurting town...

  118. Ok, it's done. Thanks Dancing for the reminder about the quote.

    I also have a children;s sermon for the 1 John folks. I'm taking my wallet and pulling out al of my ID (and my passport). Look at all these things that tell people who I am. Apparently I can drive, live at XYZ ABC Street, have type O blood, am an organ donor, have a permanent metal implant in my body (the plate form the ankle, the congregation will get this) and am a pastor. But none of them tell anyone the most important thing about me - -I am a child of God. Show them a baptismal certificate and talk about how that shows that I am baptized, and I am a child of God. The irony - -I don't have a baptismal certificate. So even if we don't have the paper, we know.

    Here is the link to the sermon.

    I can knit some now! Or write prayers. Guess which one wins?

  119. Or for a combo ending:
    Only you can write the ending, which is Good News indeed, Thanks be to God!
    My computer needed charging and I got charged by a nap as well.
    So, I got 1/3 done and 2/3 to go. I had a late lunch sandwich from Subway and now ready for a snack supper

  120. Oh, KP, do you knwo I used to have a baptismal certificate, but somewhere in a move it got lost.
    But, yes, you and I are both Childs of God, even without our certificates.

  121. knittinpreacher, you are incredible! Muchas, muchas gracias. That will work--i was going to use the IDs last week for the Thomas story, but none of the kids were there. And I like this idea MUCH better anyway. Aah. I think this means I can go to bed.

  122. Sleep well esperanza. Glad my brainstorm could be helpful to you!

    Goodnight all! The computer is sleepy and so am I!

  123. 1-4 Grace, you have been making my day, all day. How did the Brolied Fish turn out?
    MaineCelt, don't read the sermon, come to church!!

  124. I'm done and posted...well, at least I'm done until I read it again and figure out what else it needs (or needs removed!)...

    Children's sermon - I'm cheating. We received a flag from our Cub Scout Pack and I'm going to share it with the congregation via the kids. Unless something else comes to mind between now and then...

    Blessings to all in your proclamations tomorrow!

  125. Wow...I think I'm done! Before the midnight hour! This is good news indeed. I ended up playing the whole faith/doubt card and working in what could have been said last week but wasn't.

    Now off to Denny's for a late-night snack with another preacher. And perhaps even more sleep than I've gotten the last several nights!

    I'll check in again before I head to bed.

  126. I forgot to say also: prayers for Sarah and the UGA community...

  127. Prom Pix are up for those who know me on spacehook.

    Blessings on those who are still writing!

  128. Earth was good. Kids were amazing. It's 9:09 p.m., so I think I'm going to GO TO BED! Unheard of on a Saturday night for me, so it will bring me great joy. I will be re-joing the "Saturday night creative process" next week, I'm sure, though. I'll read around tomorrow.

    Grace and peace! Especially to the folks of Athens and those who love them!

  129. Praying for you and your people, Sarah.

    And, Betsy, I read your comment just before my husband arrived on his motorcycle. So scary. I'm glad your guy was not badly hurt. Prayers for your belated process!

  130. I am slowing down, ever so much.
    No fish tonight. Maybe soon though.
    SB, so glad I have been able to make your day. not only do I type backwards, I also speak backwards, which makes for some really funny conversations.
    I need some chocolate please

  131. I am a woman pastor as well, trying to get the Word together for tomorrow, and would appreciate your prayers...I know you all don't know me, but my child is special needs and is in a "mood"..that does not foster my creativity or openness to God. I just need my own mood lifted...and the young one's calmed down....

  132. Sarah...prayers for you and yours....

    sounds like everyone else is coming to some good conclusions
    :-) for your sermons....

  133. Anonymous, we'll trust the Holy Spirit to get the details right. Lord, in your mercy, hear our prayers

  134. anonymous....prayers for you too....

  135. Anonymous, I am praying for you.

    wow, go out for a little while, and then veg out and what do you get? 137 comments!

    I'm very tired but don't like my sermon much (shhh don't tell).

    i'm suffering from a Thursday night comment at book club from a very dear church member: 'our church in Florida is packed every week. The minister doesn't use one note and he stands in the middle of the church, not behind the pulpit.'

    One of my problems: even if I could imagine myself preaching without notes, I have a problem imaginining myself standing in the middle of the church: still feel like a very small person in a very big place.

    ok, what do you need? tea? coke? ice cream?

    I'm going to link to my sermon in a secret location. will need feed back.

  136. Good pics cheese. But when did high scool seniors get to be so young?????????

    On a more serious note. Have any of you contemplated going to work for the church in a different way? At our Conference Executive meeting last week we approved a position description for a minister of RElations and Social Justice. It is a job I could do and enjoy. THe two issues are:
    1) I need to talk to people to determine how much travel would be involved and how much of the work can/would be done through electronic communication (for some reason Beloved wants to have me around and not gallivanting around the conference all the time)
    2) would I miss the rhythm and ministry of Pastoral Charge ministry too much?

  137. (((anonymous)))

    I believe the approprite response would be "how nice for that church and pastor"

    The reality is that we all have to find the preaching/worship leading style that works for us. WE don't have to copy another style if it doesn't work for us. Nor should we be asked to do so, in a perfect world that is.

  138. from an "undisclosed location", here is my offeringI am really welcoming feedback today. I'll get up early and tweak.

  139. SB: I hereby solemnly promise not to read the sermon before church.

    Everyone: THANKS-- for sharing your struggles and your many and varied gifts in this virtual space. Thanks for helping me feel connected to a network of supportive peers and mentors. I've missed that and yearned for that for a long, long time.

  140. Diane-- tried to comment on your sermon, but it said comments were restricted to team members. Hope it's alright to post my comments here instead.

    Regarding your sermon: Beautiful and well-woven. As questions arose during my reading, your answers followed within one or two paragraphs.

    The only suggestion I have is to offer one or two additional sentences about the phrase, "in the name of Jesus." This phrase might be powerful to some, but devoid of meaning to others. Can you offer a rephrasing of it to capture the attention of those for whom it might seem empty--maybe something about invoking our kinship with the one in whom earth and heaven meet, announcing that we do not act alone, declaring that our creative work springs not from isolation but from connection to The Creator and The Created? (My wording might be too fancy-schmancy, but you get the idea.)

  141. thanks maine celt. I think i know what you mean, though I think I would want to make it simpler.

    also want to think about coming back to resurrection appearances being us...

  142. Diane,
    I was quite moved by your sermon - you should be proud of it!
    May I use the story about the teacher? I have been searching for a story that would pull things together, and yours would be great.

  143. I can hardly believe that it is only 8:45 where I am...but my eyeballs are worn sermon is printed, it is what it is...and now I'm going to have a cup of tea and call it a night.

    blessings on you all...

  144. well my time and mompriest's time do not match but my sermon is printed!

    For those of you scoring this, that is *way* earlier than usual.

    Have fun partying without me. I'm heading for bed.

    Blessings on your Sunday

  145. Praying for anonymous here, too.

    Blessings all on your proclaiming!

    See you next week, when I'll be a Saturday sermon writer again, I bet...

  146. AAAAAAA!!!! just one more paragraph! come on, Holy Spirit, one paragraph. That's not such a tall order, is it?

  147. Anonymous - I am praying for your peace of heart and a calming effect for your little one, I hope by this time the prayers have helped.

    I also want to let everyone know that I have been enjoying your company for about two weeks and I feel at home. I am a woman of strong faith and God has seen fit to lend me a church of 30 people to love.

    Thank you for being there...

  148. it's midnight and I just posted a sermon...and now I really should try to go to sleep, in spite of that bottle of Dr. Pepper I consumed between 7pm and now. if there's anyone left here working, I'm sharing brie as a late night snack, and also Trader Joe's raspberry-and-cream bars--they're popsicles without sticks! so good. stop by for one, and read my (very short, thanks to moment for mission and baptism!) sermon on your way. thanks!

    and now, good night...I think. I may be back if Dr. Pepper induced insomnia has anything to say about it.

  149. MaineCelt, I love the quote; seems just right to me!

    Sarah, prayers for all of you.

    And Anon, may the Spirit fill your sails and give you what you need.

    Home from the auction and husband is in bed with icebags. Thanks for all the prayers; I suspect he is going to be in need of some strength when he wakes up, most likely very sore, tomorrow a.m. Now I need to pack up my younger son's harp--he is playing in church tomorrow!--and make that sermon happen!

  150. Eileen -- of course you can use the story about the teacher.
    thanks for your comment.

    up early here with prayers for the H.S., who has our backs, you know....

    blessings on all today, however you serve

    I need to print and practice again.

  151. I'm up! I've gotten the dog fed and the backyard picked up and the daughter out the door for a day-long contra dance festival with her dad. It will be strange going to church alone; it happens infrequently.
    Thanks to those who left comments on my sermon and for the support here yesterday.

  152. Wow!
    155 comments on this Easter 3 weekend.
    Good work folks.
    I am off to church to get prepared for all that is today

  153. Dr. Fr. Wil GafneyApril 26, 2009 at 2:16 PM

    Surprise, Fr. Wil, you're giving the Children's sermon! What did the RevGals say about these texts? I don't know all I can remember is something about "what's your piece of broiled fish?" So it looked a bit like the hokey-pokey - and since my back was to the altar, that made sense.
    Can you help me tell this story?
    Raise your right hand.
    Raise your left hand.
    Without kicking anybody - raise your right foot.
    Without kicking anybody - raise your left foot.
    Rub your tummy.
    How do we know Jesus is alive?
    He showed us his: right hand, left hand, right foot, left foot, ate a piece of fish and it went into his tummy.
    Faster now...
    Whew! I need a nap...

  154. LOL! I did a children's sermon about telling stories--do you like stories? do you prefer pictures or no pictures? do you like to tell stories? Jesus told stories, and he showed his disciples his hands and feet, and he showed he could eat, and then he asked them to tell the story. How do we tell the story? by living it--talking, listening, helping, loving. THE END.

    Or something. LOL. I made it up during the first service when I realized there were actually kids there, right after I thought "crap! I haven't had time to make up a children's time yet!" ha!

    and now, naptime. hallelujah indeed.

  155. i invite any and all to come and do childrens sermons at my church. it is fun, it is cool and you NEVER know what they might say.

  156. RE: Broiled fish:

    I got an answer back about "how would Jesus' piece of fish have been broiled?" from my "Biblical Food Expert," Fr. Doug Neel. He used to do first-century and Seder meals in this area; now he has a church in Pagosa Springs, CO.

    "Most likely the fish was filleted and the fillets were wrapped in wet leaves (fig or grape leaves) and placed in the coals of a fire on the beach. We tried cooking tilapia fillets (the primary fish in the sea of Galilee) like that and they turned out wonderful. Try it with a little pomegranate syrup brushed on the fish before wrapping or with a dusting of Middle Eastern spices or maybe a squeeze of lemon juice. Lemons were not yet present in the Middle East at the time of Jesus, but citrons were. I think the juice is somewhat similar."


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