Visit our new site at

Saturday, May 16, 2009

11th Hour Preacher Party: Spring Fling Edition

Good morning, preachers!!

It's a beautiful spring morning in this little New England corner of the Northern Hemisphere. It's a day for gardening and yard sales and fundraising walks and school field days college graduations and an evening for proms and parties.

What's happening in your world?

We had a great discussion at Lectionary Leanings this week if you need to prime the pump for your writing/planning.

I'm offering up coffee and tea, apple bran muffins and an encouraging word. We can do this!

Chime in below and leave a comment; we had some new preachers introduce themselves last time and I hope we'll see more today!


  1. An apple-bran muffin to go with my coffee sounds lovely. But I really got a chuckle out of the encouragement, "we can do this!"

    I'm off later this morning to drop off recycling, meet a friend for lunch downtown, then help with some set-up for tomorrow's progressive dinner. Sermon? What sermon?

    I'll check in when I can.

  2. :-)

    I'm participating in the Arthritis Foundation Walk this morning, then need to stop by Church 1 for the Yard Sale. No responsibilities at Church 2, amazingly, where it is Music Sunday tomorrow. But I'm coming back later to work on next Sunday's sermon, which will need to be written before I leave for my son's graduation. Yes, next Saturday I'll be attending graduation in Michigan, then flying home to preach at Church 1 the next morning. So I am with you today, even as I am one week ahead on the texts.

  3. I'm back in the country, but at my sister's. I've got most of something written. I need to pack and write some more. For reasons that escape me I decided it would be nice to preach on some of the Psalms, cause I've never done that before. it seems no one preaches on the Psalms and I am flailing around for more ideas, to fill out my usual short sermons. (I'm not much in the way of details. After all, once I say what I mean, why should I need to say more and besides, God never gives me much to say!)

  4. Joan Calvin, after this interesting trip, can't you talk about that? You've been to the place they wrote the Psalms...and so forth.

  5. A muffin and coffee would be great.
    We have rain in the south eastern part of the northern hem. But, that should lead to lovely flowers and healthy plants which I just put out.
    As for a sermon, I have put out the welcome mat for the sermon fairy, but she/he/it has yet to arrive.
    I am preaching on John text and have a title thanks to Gord," Can love be commanded."
    A few sentences and an idea or two swirling.
    We can do this, but do we have to be up so early?
    GO SB!!! Walk proud

  6. preaching on "joy" as found in the psalm and v.11 of the gospel... this morning however is a funeral.

    for you coffee-types i highly recommend hershey's chocolate caramel creamer... oh so yummy!

  7. It's not raining in this part of the South yet but it shows all the signs of getting down to it soon.

    Today, I have to figure out what I want to say to my adult Sunday school about my trip(s) to Italy without being able to project pictures on the walls - I'll take the photo albums from the first two, I guess, as this year's pics aren't printed yet. Then I need to make swedish meatballs and pralines for tomorrow's coffee hour as we are honoring the choir. There's a sign to be made, too.

    And I could use some sermon help. I'm going with Acts and taking Jensen's suggestion to heart. I'll tell the whole story including next week's reading and hope that people will understand what the lesson is for us today. I'll poke them a little but I'm planning to leave the sharp stick at home. Sigh. Sometimes, it's hard to be a liberal in a conservative parish.

    I've eaten too well the last two days so this morning was simply an instant breakfast and a walk with the dogs before it rains.

  8. Margaret, that's the eternal dilemma!
    1-4, I will!
    hotcup, sounds yummy!!
    I'm tying my sneakers and heading out, check in with y'all later.

  9. I'm tired... tired... tired of love... love... love. I couldn't take another week... so while the sermon does talk about it a little bit... the primary thrust of the sermon is about friendship.

    I get the whole concept of Jesus being my friend... and the sermon asks... so how do we become Jesus friend. I'm mean it's not like Jesus a shoulder to cry on.

    I'm not overly thrilled with the sermon... but I posted it here and comments and concerns are welcomed.

  10. I have this to say about today: AAAAAA!!!!!! And then ditto that for tomorrow.

    I'm off to supervise Rent-A-Youth workers from 8.30-4, then have to make the copies for tomorrow's confirmation informational meeting, then need to create powerpoint slides for the town hall meeting the congregation is having tomorrow and the session refused to lead. THEN I can get started on my sermon. We are in the middle of a three week series on Spiritual Gifts (leading up to Pentecost), so I'm off-lectionary and preaching on Romans 12. I will have to restrain myself from turning the "everyone has at least one gift, so use yours and let others use theirs without judging the value of the gifts" sermon into "USE YOUR GIFTS, FOR THE LOVE OF GOD AND ALL THAT IS HOLY!!!!" aimed at the session. I'm exhausted, and thinking about my schedule this weekend made me cry (for real), so I'm sure I'll be here later, begging for help and mercy.

    But first--a day of outdoor work under cloudy skies.....

  11. I wrote something about Jesus calling his disciples as friends three years ago (it's referenced on Texts this Week if you know my real name)but as it wasn't my turn to preach then, I didn't use it in church, so I'm trying to work from it now; like others I've done "love" the last couple of weeks and need a change!

    But re the commandment to love: I talked about this in ref to a Matthew text once, but I think it applies here, too. Jesus in his summary of the law is trying to get at the very essence of what Levitical law is all about (all 613 of them) and he boils it down to love--love of God and love of other. So whatever we do that we do b/c God calls us to it is done out of love and with love. And now he promises that when we live in that love, joy will result. I guess that is a constant theme in my preaching.

  12. Our synod is in assembly this weekend and we have been dwelling in the texts for Sunday - a wonderful word for us. Now we head into discernment on resolutions speaking to human sexuality. Please hold all ELCA Lutherans gathered in assemblies across our nation in prayer. Lord, listen to your children praying....send us love, send us power, send us grace+

  13. I am on the Acts text for tomorrow and it is titled "Draw the Circle Wide", which is a song by Gordon Light. I wish the pianist could play this and we would sing...but not a good option in this case.

    I am hoping to do creative storytelling with the Cornelius story to get the whole story of God's radical inclusiness. Ending with reading "Old Turtle" by Douglas Woods.

    I have some watermelon to offer this morning as well.

  14. Well, it's early afternoon & thus far I've done the church coffee morning, made a couple of phonecalls & blogged a bit. Now I need to do a funeral visit & pick up a dog treat for Libby-the-puppy's First Birthday tomorrow, - so I guess I'll probably START the sermon around 4.30 if I'm lucky.
    It sounds as if there are alot of good ideas but also alot of very stretched people out there. Have a hug, Teri...I'll be back later begging for inspiration.

  15. Pancakes to offer. WG might even have a chocolate chip one left over. (I like mine traditional).

    I'm going graduation dress shopping with her later this morning. ::sniff::

    It is confirmation Sunday tomorrow, so the sermon can be a little shorter. I have an image from Anne Lamott's latest book in mind, the Wailing Wall essay, where she does the 'loved and chosen' ritual. I might even just read from that essay as part of my sermon. It's that good.

    Have any of y'all done that? Read from another writer in the midst of your sermon?

  16. First long weekend of the summer here and so I am sitting watchng the snow swirl in the air...

    Sermon, she needs help. But for now we will focus on laundry, and a side trip to buy WebKinz clothes with the middle child as mom and the 2 sisters have driven to the city for the day

  17. Cheesehead, yes, I've occasionally read from a writer/book in the middle of the sermon; when someone writes as well as Lamott and it's on topic, I think it works just fine. Conveniently, it also means less for me to write ;-) So if you've found the perfect passage, go for it!

    Church work party this a.m.; kid errand stuff this afternoon, while my husband goes to a party at the bishop's house for clergy spouses. The sermon is started and has part of an ending; just that little problem of all the middle to do.

    I'm also going with the idea of love as a command. That concept doesn't make sense to us because we think of love as a feeling; Jesus, however, is talking about love as an action and an act of will, not particularly tied into how we are feeling.

    The cupboards are bare here; however, later in the day I think we're going to try the homemade root beer my younger son created a few weeks ago. Stop by for the tasting!

  18. Rev Honey, talk about bringing out the sharp stick! It's the point I would love my people to hear in Acts. We Episcopalians will be following your deliberations closely as we prepare to make our own in July.
    Cheesehead, that's Lamott's Plan B? I have no trouble borrowing from someone else. I've even quoted a page worth when it works.

  19. Just made pancakes for the kids and me. Those or waffles have become a little tradition for us on days when my husband goes to the monthly ecumenical men's breakfast at our church. Kinda fun. I have homemade (not by me, but by the previous homeowner) strawberry rhubarb jam to share. We were out of syrup to jelly and jam it was on our pancakes.

    I did a little more blogging about my sermon last night to try to get some more concrete ideas down. I got caught up in what looks like a complicated legal argument about love and friends. That will NOT be in the sermon, but I think I need to figure out my thoughts about it during naptime so I don't get caught up in it when I do my real writing tonight.

    I think I'm going to start my sermon with the game where you try to come up with song titles with the word "love" in them. We'll play it as a congregation. I love how that went on Tuesday in the Leanings!

    We'll see. So, for now. I'll think about getting myself and the kids dressed. My NEW 4 year old (birthday was on Tuesday) and I want to try out our Mother's Day/Birthday present - - a geocaching GPS. It's VERY windy here and pretty chilly so I don't know how long we'll last. At least there are two hidden at a park just up the stairs from our house. (We live at the base of a hill.)

    So strawberry rhubarb spread to share! It would be GREAT on a scone or muffin or something. Enjoy!

  20. Margaret, it's actually Grace Eventually. Plan B was not my favorite of her books, although I'm sure that hidden in between the political laments/rage there is plenty of good stuff. (I just like her God-stuff better.)

  21. O Teri ... praying you have lots of energy for today and tomorrow and then some good pj time at some point.

    Working on love as a verb in the gospel of john.

    See you later on, after i take care of some chores around the house.

  22. Joan - - I preached the Psalms for Lent last year, and it is hard! The Sermon Brainwave podcast has a good treatment of the Psalm for preaching this Sunday. You can find that at One thing that helped me was to try to imagine who might have written that psalm - what was the story that made him/her write it? What was happening that brought out those feelings? It brought out a different kind of sermon, maybe not all EXACTLY textual, but, in my case, I ended up using them to show how the psalms can guide out prayer and, therefore, the diversity of prayer.

    1-4 & Betsy - I liked that commanded question, too, and decided that YES, love Boston's "More Than a Feeling."
    (Although the word "love" never comes up in the song.)

  23. I'd love an apple bran muffin, yum! Me? I'm off for another funeral...this makes the sixth funeral in five weeks....after the funeral I have to make two hospital visits, which means I'll be gone until late this afternoon. OH, and those two hospital visits, because the folks are in ICU, mean two more funerals are probably just around the corner. Next weekend I do have a wedding - my first here! But then on Sunday I have another brief interment for someon into our columbarium...geeze

    My sermon is in a draft...I'll post it - but I won't be able to get back to work on it until much later - SOOO comments, suggestions, will be greatly appreciated.

    Hope everyone else is having a lovely Spring day and that the writing goes well!

  24. Here is Complete Joy - the draft of my sermon for tomorrow...

  25. Good grief, MomPriest...that is a ridiculous number of funerals :-o Blessings to you as you go about this ministry, and enjoy the change of pace the wedding brings.

  26. I have just come back from a soup and sandwich lunch to raise money for a school in Kenya which we support. I am full of Watercress and Apple Soup and egg sandwiches so I shouldnt have anything else for a while! And my cupboards are also bare so I have to shop at some point.
    Rev Honey, I will hold you and your fellow Lutherans in my prayers and ask that you hold the Church of Scotland in yours. We meet in General Assembly next week and have a diffcult case before us which is made all the more difficult because of media hype because it is one of human sexuality.
    I intend to address it from the pulpit tomorrow and there are many mixed opinions among both my congregations. However I am going also with the command to love. I think we all forget how to love or are encouraged to forget, or are even taught to be suspicious about love or too much love - I may use a song from South Pacific 'You've got to be carefully taught', it keeps going round and round in my head. I think Jesus commands us in order that we are constantly reminded how to love, whenever we forget the command is there and with it exactly how we are to go about it.
    I have spent almost every waking moment this week thinking about the sermon but I am still struggling to get it on to paper.
    I love being able to enter into this dialogue with you all. Thank you for having me.

  27. hi friends - not really writing today as it's supposed to my day off - I have a good outline that I will fill out tomorrow morning.

    in the meantime, I'm taking kids and dog to the park as soon as they finish breakfast (kids = toast, dog = crusts they are droopping her on the sly)

    oh my gosh, songbird - what a WEEK! I'll be thinking of you....

    mompriest - hope you will have some time to relax/process after all those funerals.

    cheese - I do that reading out of books thing from time to time, and people like it. esp if I just read right from the book, several people afterward ask for the name of it. there's something about being read to that is different than being preached to....both are good, just different.

    ooo! Joan, Joan! I did I did a series on the psalms last summer and got quite a few books that were helpful. I think Eugene Peterson's book on the psalms in community was a good one. Cant remember the others now, as they are at my office. if you've got a few more weeks to go, email if you want at psalm46bestill (at) gmail (dot) com and I'll send you the titles on Sunday or Monday.

    have a great writing day, all - see you next week!!

  28. I am attending a workshop on Social Media. I think I have finally learned to LINK!!!! Meanwhile I am paniced about what I am going to preach on. I did ABIDE last week so I am a bit up a tree.

  29. Hey, y'all~
    Passing through after the 3 mile walk; Sam wanted to come home and drink from his OWN water dish, not theirs.
    I'm going to pop over to Church 1 and buy a plant or something at the "Spring Sale." Back in a bit!

  30. no sermon preaching for me for a while but would still love to join in the apple-bran muffin and coffee (so long as its made with milk suitable for those of us who are lactose intolerant)!

    Blessings to all of you!

  31. Cheese, yes I have read before. If it is good, then I use it. Also, glad I was not the only one that noticed the political nature of Plan B, I agreed with her rant, but did not want to read about it in the book.
    Sherev, have fun geocaching. Took my little nephew and he had fun. I might add, if you find something, let the little one "find" it. My nephew got upset b/c he was "not" finding anything.
    Good idea with More than A Feeling.
    And, Teri, prayers. Hope you get good workers. My mom volunteers at a local agency where they get youth workers. It is now a graduation requirment to do community servie. Sadly, those assigned there, tend to not want to do much more than necessary. I have mixed feelings on the requirement part, or at least forcing a vounteer thing on youth with no interest. Now give me youth with the initiative to do something...

  32. Does anyone know why firefox/blogger insists on "refreshing" my screen and erasing my comment every time I navigate away for a minute? It is getting really frustrating!

    I think I am done with my sermon, working on tonight's prayers, but finding it hard to concentrate. Freckleface's last soccer game starts in 1/2 hour, then Skye has to be transported to the Episcopal church to sing with the choir in the priest's wedding. Laundry is churning and I am trying to clean and pack in anticipation of leaving for the Festival of Homies bright and early Monday morning...but before that, tonight's service, choir awards at Episc. church tomorrow, then commencement at the Univ. where Starman is receiving an award for his undergrad teaching skills (yay Starman)...I can't think straight! Hope to meet some of you next week!
    I'll share my truffles that I got for Mother's Day with anyone who could use a chocolate boost!

  33. Doing my Saturday shift at the British import shop, so I can offer everyone crunchy bars and Chocolate-covered McVitie's biscuits!

    Everyone's ideas sound very good-- I'm feeling pushed rather strongly by the Spirit to address the Acts passage using something from my own story-- a call to do something from the pulpit I've never really done before--definitely a case of "speak the truth, even if your voice shakes."

    I feel scared and a bit giddy, but my practical side is questioning my rhetorical tactics. Does it ring false to celebrate joy and justice and inclusion in a sermon to a financially imperiled and dwindling congregation? Or is that actually what they need, just now?

    Rough draft is done and five minutes too long, so it's time for some very judicious editing. Trying to decide if I edit myself out...

  34. Ooops. For our UK folks, of course I meant Crunchie bars. I DO know how to spell properly for both sides of the Atlantic! (And Chocolate, in MY mind, is ALWAYS spelled with a capital C!)

  35. If Crunchie bars don't help, then I rather fear that nothing will.
    I'm still uncertain where I'm going with the sermon (uncertain? I don't have a clue!!!) though I guess that at the end of Christian Aid week here, some consideration of love in action might not go amiss.
    I might start by talking about the Friday Five, actually...all those sorts of friend which we've identified...and go on from there..
    Meanwhile, I did buy some banana bread at the coffee morning so please help yourselves...

  36. MaineCelt, I think a message of truth and hope is always the right thing, especially in difficult times. (And for those who don't know, MaineCelt is preaching at Church 1 while I preside at Church 2!!)
    We love McVitie's, love them! Did I ever tell you the story about Snowman's inadvertent smuggling?

  37. MP,
    Yes! Another festival of homies person. We gonna have a pa-a--a-r-teee!!!
    I have laundry to fold now!

  38. MaineCelt I have just finished a bar of Cadbury's chocolate filled with little bits of Crunchie - delicious. I've not yet finished the sermon but preaching the bit I have written will be scarey I think, but I do feel compelled to preach it. Thinking of you tomorrow

  39. Oooh, Songbird, I want to hear the smuggling story! Do you like the milk chocolate or dark chocolate McVitie's best? (I like the chocolate caramel ones, in careful moderation. They're kind of like civilized s'mores!)

    How was the fundraiser walk? Hope you and Sam had a lovely time!

    Sermon's edited and almost ready to print. Thanks for the feedback. I am keeping MY story IN!

  40. I continue to be amazed at the things ministry gets me into: I'm on the way to an open house even though I am not in the market for a house.

    This is quite funny to me and one of the best justifications for procrastination I have ever had and requires so little from me, too.

    Maybe I'll win the door prize :)

  41. Hello preaching frienda--

    I miss the party. Dropping in to say hello and leave some oatmeal cookies.

    You will be among the first to know when I actually need to prepare a sermon once again.

    Betsy, tomorrow I think I am finally going to visit that Episcopal church in Sheboygan Falls. Ken is not up to church yet, so it's a good chance.

  42. SO, have a wonderful time worshipping with them, and let me know about the experience later!

    I tend to believe that the parts that make us most nervous to include are often the parts that really need to be in there!

    Chocolate truffles? I am so there! I forgot that I have some Australian sweets, Fantales--chocolate covered caramels--that my sister brought me; I'm glad to share.

    Nothing more on the sermon yet or for a while. I didn't mention that I am starting my exploration of commands by having my husband bring our Lab in (on lead) so I can do some commands with him (the dog, not the husband!). He is a good dog but I know I will have images of disaster going through my head all night :-o

  43. Back from our first ever geocache which was a find!!! Yipee! I could see this becoming the activity of our summer. We're all fired up to go find more.

    I should work out that weird sermon stuff I found while trying to do a rough outline last night. However, I'd rather work on the crocheted baptismal blanket for the baby next week. Oh well. NCIS is on, and at this point I don't think I can tear myself away.

  44. SheRev Whoo Hoo!

    Welcome to Geocaching! It's one of my favorite things to do that has nothing to do with church

  45. I'm back! Well, I've been back, but I fell asleep. I'm outlining thoughts for next week.
    MaineCelt, you asked:
    Do you like the milk chocolate or dark chocolate McVitie's best?Answer:

  46. Laundry...check
    Chicken set out for dinner...check

    Sermon done...checkNow to catch up on some other tasks.

    Always enjoy "teh party" even when I am not supply-preaching. Thanks for all the good "future" ideas and gastronomical delights.

  47. Got a beginning and an ending on paper. Now to just get the swirling ideas of a middle to take form and find words on the paper.

    Stopping for a mid-afternoon snack. Ice cream anyone? I've got mint chocolate chip, vanilla bean, and chocolate chip cookie dough. Can you tell I love ice cream?!

  48. Again, my answer is yes! I love ice cream, too. We have a sad lackage here at the moment.

  49. Joining the party late as I've been out for the day. I worked on my sermon yesterday, it is here, but I still have to work on my childrens talk though.

  50. I'm back again; I really should do some writing before coming here, because I get distracted by thoughts of wonderful food--this time, it's that ice cream--and forget (okay, neglect to remember) the work I need to be doing. Older son is now at the mall, and perhaps when going to pick him up I will need to stop at the store for ice cream.

  51. Hello everyone, I have been here for a while, but fell asleep for a bit earlier and am trying to get something more accomplished now. It's a rainy, drippy spring day here--perfect for napping. I have a list of ideas and would LOVE to get them into something more resembling an outline. No cool vacation story this time to disguise the fact that I did no prep during the week.

    I'm especially interested in exploring "You did not choose me, but I chose you," and the baptismal links since St. Smaller has a baptism. (That doesn't mean I have any insight there, just that I'd like to focus there if I could.)

    Add to that a colleague finished with his sermon who wants to go out to Denny's, and I just need to get something on paper ASAP.

    In the meantime, sign me up for some ice cream!

  52. I'm weary but it's done...suspect I've simply said the same thing repeatedly, without much inspiration, but too tired to mind I fear. Might have a quite lager before I head upstairs - can I get one from the fridge for you?

  53. I'm heading out to Whole Foods to pick up cookies for the dog and maybe something for me, too. Can I get anyone anything?

  54. Hello, Folks!

    get up, stretch, and come on over-- I have just prepared a lovely batch of fiddleheads, a local Spring treat. (They are the unfurled tips of ostrich ferns. The taste is similar to asparagus.) These ones were roasted in the oven with a sprinkling of sea salt and a bit of olive oil and lemon juice. Taste and see!

  55. Speaking of Festival of Homies: I don't know of any big group get-togethers planned, but if anyone wants to get together, email me at
    jezuzgrl AT yahoo DOT com (take out the spaces, of course).

    I will give you my cell number, you can give yours if you so wish, and we can begin to put some plans together. :)

    I will not have my computer with me next week, but I will have my iPhone so I can email and/or call.

  56. My toes are done and I did my wallyworld run for snacks to take to Fes of Homies. I started packing some, but had to do laundry.
    Also have to make final instru. for the cat sisters (aka my folks).
    Two cats with meds and one who hides, the other is without difficulty.

  57. AAA! I am just about to head home...starving, dehydrated, and tired...and with a whole sermon still to write. I wish I had some McVities, they would make my life much better write now. Sadly, I'm out. And all the other food things that sound like they would make me happy cost money, which is something I lack. Alas. I suppose I'll have to wash some dishes so I can use a pot to make dinner.

    but first I have to get there...see you all in 10 minutes (the length of my "commute")...

  58. Uh, did y'all know ABC is still running the HP movies. Goblet starts in like 30 mintues

  59. Hello all. You have all been very busy today. Lots of completed sermons, lots of work and play getting done.

    I've been doing everything I can think of doing today to avoid actually writing, so I'm not much further than I was on Tuesday. I went to the farmers market, had Lojack installed in the "new" car (2007 Toyota) we got on Monday, read a bunch of science fiction, twittered, and taken a nap. Now I'm ready to get serious about Preaching Like Peter in Acts.

    I'm still struck with how closely this week's passage relates to last week's baptism of the Ethiopian Eunuch. It's a mini-series even if I hadn't originally planned it that way. Which is nice because there was so much more I wanted to say last week but couldn't in only 20 minutes. So hopefully this week's message won't be as hard to speak as it might have been.

    My prayers for the ELCA synod, for the injured, the sick and the exhausted among us. I have fresh cherries from the farmers market to share.

  60. Teri, Dear, sorry we aren't there at the door to hand you a nice cup of herbal tea and some high-protein (almond and chocolate?) cookies!

    Go drink a tall glass of water, take a few long, deep breaths and get some decent food into yourself before you settle in with us. We'll wait up!

  61. I'm back with empanadas and burritos, who's hungry?

  62. We just returned from a BBQ that one of the local churches was hosting.

    Tomorrow I will talk about commanding our children to be nice to their siblings "because they love them". I would humbly suggest that these commandments have limited success until the siblings themselves grow into the realization that they do indeed love each other and start (most of the time) to act appropriately.

    Does making them "live as if" to use a phrase my therapist used to suggest make them come to that realization sooner?

  63. I'm hungry! NOM NOM NOM.

    Thanks Songbird. Now I can get back to work. (I did manage to write a page, fortunately. let's see if I can do a second one.)

  64. Gord - - "live as if" sounds so much more theological than "fake it 'til you make it" but I think they mean the same thing!

    Back from our second geocaching trip of the day. Found 3 more with 3 of the 4 kids who live across the street. Their mom was knee deep in a kitchen remodel project and I thought she was going to kiss me on the lips when I came over to ask if anyone wanted to go on a walk with us.

    Haven't really done any work on the sermon, but should be settling in for writing in about 2 hours. We promised the kids a movie night before bed, so Monsters, Inc. and crocheting, here I come!!

    We have few slices of devil's food cake with browned butter buttercream icing left. Close your eyes and you won't even notice the Pepto Bismol pink color.

  65. hello, panic, my old friend.
    if only you would scoot over, maybe there'd be room for the holy spirit on the couch too?
    okay then....

  66. Hang in there Teri, it will come! Wow, this is quite a yummy party this evening. I just got home from the Saturday night service and have to get downstairs to do devotions with the girls before bedtime (well, it is actually after bedtime, but anyway). Cheese, look for an email from me ( 1-4 and I have already talked, so I will hope to meet both of you!

    Blessings on all your preparations! Have more truffles, they're yummy!

  67. Checking in for my last preacher's party for a while, I guess. Last Sunday with my little bunch. My husband got transfered, so we will be moving in a few weeks.

    I have a draft that is part warm-fuzzy, part sharp poky stick. I usually don't poke, but I found there was some poking I think the Holy Spirit wants me to do. I'm off to look it over to make sure it's not too sharp, but sharp enough to poke.

    After a five hour trip home today that turned into a seven hour trip (traffic...rain...stops...), I am ready to crash. I have been fortified with some leftover birthday cake and will be happy to share (chocolate, with homemade chocolate icing).

  68. Here you go...tomorrow morning, I'm going to preach THIS! Yikes!

  69. Teri, I'm right there with you. Is anyone preaching 1 John? I don't want to talk in circles like "the elder" does!

  70. MaineCelt, that is a completely and totally awesome sermon!!!!

  71. SemFem & Gord--

    Your approaches bring to mind a story from my Methodist history class... John Wesley decided to experiment on one of his long circuit rides: he would not speak to anyone unless he felt moved to interact. He travelled many, many miles without feeling moved to interact with ANYone. It scared him, how easy it was to withdraw when leading life on one's own terms. The result? His conviction was re-affirmed that we all need to strengthen our spirits with regular disciplines of connection. It isn't enough to operate from one's feelings if one wants to grow as a Christian. One has to keep training, keep trying, keep reaching out, or life's gonna be one long, lonely horsie-ride!

    P.S. Songbird-- any of those empanadas left? I LOVE empanadas!

  72. Songbird: Really? Thanks!!!!!

    (Can I go watch Xena now? I need to gird myself with some of that womanly Warrior-Strength Wil Gafney talked about!)


  73. You have permission to watch Xena, yes! Gird away.
    I have brownies and things from a church bake sale earlier today, and I'm happy to share those, too.

  74. Y'all, I am hitting the hay. Please feel free to party onward! I'll be back in the morning with a fresh pot of coffee.

  75. Checking back in with a piece of cake and bowl of ice cream. WW will start again on Tuesday. I had a week or so off. I did NOT need that, but, oh, it was so good!

    Watching a little more NCIS while I snack before I write!

  76. Using one's own children as sermon fodder???
    Positive or negative????

  77. Gord - - Depends on the situation, both the story and the children. I've done it in stories that are pretty universal, not stories that could be interpreted in any way as bragging on how smart, witty, or insightful my kids are. Also, not stories that would be embarrassing to them. My oldest just turned 4 so it's not like they would notice, but still....

  78. I just want to say thank you to all of you amazing people in this community. I preach once every three or four months and have been freaking out about this week's sermon. I came here looking for inspiration, ideas and calm reassurance and I've found all that and then some. I gladly share the rest of my chocolate peanut butter ice cream with anyone else working at the last hours like I am. MaineCelt - I have tears in my eyes after reading your sermon. Bless you for sharing your story and gifts! My prayers go out to all of our churches who continue to struggle with "widening the cirlce" and the issue of sexual orientation.

  79. Gord,
    As long as it is not something that will embarass them in the future.
    Also, I think it is fine if it is a "positive story" about them. I was told by a preaching prof. that one should not always make yourself the hero of the story. But, if your kids are, that is proably okay.

  80. Gord, fwiw

    I make sure not to use my kids as negative examples -- not that they don't provide opportunities for that. Once they got old enough to care, I asked them for permission. Then when they got old enough to say "no" all the time, I just warned them that I would be talking about them.

  81. Oh, and yes, I am with Sherev, nothing that is bragging, thus highlighting your parenting skills.
    But a nice story about your kid wanting to share a PNB and Jelly sandwich with a homeless person is okay.

  82. MandyC,
    Welcome and many blessings as you preach!

  83. MandyC, you'd be welcome even w/o the chocolate p.b. ice cream; with it, I am beating the path to your door ;-) Actually, I think it will be progressive dessert for me; quite a few of you mentioned delicious chocolate items!

    We are trying hard to keep a Sunday (afternoon) sabbath in our household, with no housework. The side benefit to that is it makes me look around more on Saturday to see what might be bugging me on Sunday, and as a result I seem to get a little more done. There is lots and lots, but I have finished the most egregious things, or at least the ones that annoy me the most.

    Dog is bathed in prep for being part of the sermon; I can use him without weighing the decisions that go with using stories of one's children (which I do, from time to time, judiciously). Now to write the rest of the sermon; I'm about 2/3rds there and bored stiff.

  84. I think I'm done...many thanks to Beach Walkin for the friendship aspect using Aristotle's three types of friends.

    I have no idea what to do with children's time other than command them to do things then point out that love is also an action not just a feeling. Other suggestions, ideas?

    Gord, my kids are older and I also ask their permission...same with hubby! And yeah, I try not to hoist myself on a pedestal, too.

    Blessings to all!

  85. hey. haven't been here all day, was up at step-sons college graduation and party in Duluth, MN (on beautiful Lake Superior). I'm preaching tomorrow for confirmation. "using" cornelius as an excuse to talk about baptism and mission, and have a "cute" box with "gifts of the spirit" in it.

    feeling a little out of it, I want to preach this one from just notes, we'll see....

  86. We interupt this party for a brief word:
    Elasti-girl has graduated. Go by and wish her well if you have a moment. :)
    As you were

  87. I'm back from burritos, tamales, fried ice cream, and a quick stop at Walmart. (Food choices inspired by Songbird's takeout.) Feeling nice and satisfied as long as I don't look too closely at the sermon!

    I really think I'm going to take a shower and then come back to do the final edits. It's okay as is, it's just too long for a service that will have a baptism and an extra litany. And hey, there comes a time where the best sermon is a finished sermon.

    MaineCelt--love it. Preach it, sister.

    Blessings on all pondering, preaching, and proclamation today.

  88. Love that phrase: The best sermon is a finished sermon ... too bad it doesn't apply to my sermon right now.

    However, I have received sustenance from garlic parmesan wings and fries. I decided that food might be a good idea after I realized that I had only eaten chips and avocado stuff. We'll see if food actually helps my progress.

  89. It's the Vicar and me and who else in for the long haul tonight???

    SNL has sucked me in. Soon, soon, I will put more inspired thoughts to virtual paper. Son.

  90. Oh, heck...big blowouts with volatile older son (14) do not help the sermon process at all. I have been uninvited, in some detail, from his 8th grade graduation, any personal contact with him, and his life. I am sure tomorrow will bring another story, but I hate having to live this one for a while. Time to put some of that love commandment to the test in my own mind :-o

  91. Betsy, I have a 15 yr old and a 12 yr old, I hear you. You have my prayers

  92. ((((Betsy)))
    As for the late nighters, I am here with you. And yes, doing the SNL thing also.
    Three books by me on the sofa, you think I could come up with something to end it up. Ugh.

  93. 1-4 Thank God THAT'S over. What a great SNL!!! Maybe NOW I'll get something done. Maybe....

  94. I have books next to me, too. Except they are dissertation related books which did not get the use they should have today.

  95. Late, but if you are preaching on John text this week:
    On Spacehook, I had a friend from my teaching days post a quiz about herself. I took it and scored a 50%. I did argue one though.
    Anyhow, the comment on my page stated that I and another mutual friend had taken the quiz to see how well we knew "".
    Another friend, later posted and asked, who is "" and why would I want to see how well I know her?
    Thus began an exchange of several posts explaining and getting to know this other person.
    Long story short,we all have this mutual friend named Jesus and we all have different ways of knowing him in differnt context, but that mutuality is there, thus making us all friends too.
    It is late, I am rambling. If this helps goo, if not, ignore me.

  96. 1-4 - My neutral pulpit sermon for the call I am in currently was entitled "Friend of a Friend" with that exact notion. I compared it to how whenever you're traveling or in a new place and someone finds out where you're from they automatically start playing the "name game" with any connection they may have to your hometown. We always try to make connections with one another, but when it comes down to it, as people of faith we all have at least one "friend of a friend." Have NO memory of what scripture it was from (isn't that horrible?). There was something else to it, too, but for the life of me I can't remember that now. Maybe because it's after midnight and I have like 400 words on my sermon for TODAY?

  97. I wrote something about spiritual gifts. It's so awful that I was actually bored while writing it. But I have nothing left to give right now, so it will have to do. Please no one tell my preaching professors that I just wrote a three point sermon--it's all desperation, I swear.

    I'm not posting this one--though I'm in desperate need of affirmation that it's not as bad as I think, I'm just not willing to put it out there. I can't even believe I'm going to preach it. I'm half hoping that something better will come to me in the night and I can wake up early and write something new. But at least I have 1200 words that are vaguely related to the series we're doing now. It will have to be good enough. If I've learned anything from RGBP's preacher party, it's KZJ's admonishment not to sacrifice ourselves on the altar of a perfect sermon. Therefore, I will now go to bed and pray not to be cranky tomorrow.

    Night all--thanks for putting up with me and my whining today. I'll be better next time, I promise.

  98. woo-who.Semfem wins.
    And Teri, I promise not to tell, even thought i will proably see your preaching profs this week!
    You got three points, but no poem???
    Anyhow, no worries, the HS has your back. I seriously doubt you have a dog, but if you do, walk that bad boy proud

  99. *offers Teri a hug* We all have sermons like that. You and the HS will pick up any pieces and go on. You are a fabulous and thoughtful preacher and I'm sure anything you have to say will be worthwhile even if it's not your best effort.

    Just printed my sermon after a final read-through...and now I'm off to bed.

    SheRev, Vicar, 1-4, anybody else still working...courage and strength to you!

  100. Almost. there. Thanks for the prayers; I need them.

    Years ago, a good friend of mine who taught preaching brought to church with her a very nice and quite renowned colleague. I was horrified when I saw him, because I knew that day's sermon was certainly not my best. He must've seen the look on my face as he began to enter the church, because he pulled me aside and asked, "Are you preaching the gospel?" Although I didn't think I was preaching it well, I did trust that was what I was doing, so I answered yes. "Then God will take care of the rest," he stated calmly. I cannot tell you how many times since then I've been grateful for the gift of his wisdom! So, to all of us who are not too sure about tomorrow's words...God will take care of the rest.

  101. Well, we've broken 100 and all my stuff is printed. My work here is done :)

    I'm going to bed

    blessings on your Sunday

  102. We've broken 100 and my stuff isn't printed, but I think it's all be written in one document or another. Time to go to bed and do my cutting and pasting and polishing in a few hours. It's time.

  103. Let myself stay in bed much longer than I really had a right to, so now I'm racing against the clock to finish up. Just got back and working off the notes I scrambled to write as I was falling asleep. The last little bit of organization I needed to tie this together came to me as my head hit the pillow. Of course.

  104. We've got a fresh pot of Bourbon Ipanema, which although they say it's mild, I always manage to brew it strong, perfect for finishing touches on a sermon.
    Betsy, sending hugs to you. My daughter is the same age.
    MandyC, thanks for saying "hey!"
    My day includes worship at one church, council meeting at the other and soup kitchen later with the youth from the former. I'll keep it all straight.
    No, really.

  105. 1-4, you're seeing them this week? nice! I'm going to proclaiming the text at Montreat June 1-5 so I'll see one there...and I've seen the other several times in the past couple of years...and I will NOT be talking about this sermon if I can avoid it. I don't even want to preach it. Somehow now that it's light outside, it's even worse than yesterday. But there's nothing I can do except get in the car, drive-thru at Caribou, and then go do it. That's what the spirit is for...good thing I don't mention preaching as a spiritual gift this time--everyone would probably be wondering when we'll get a pastor with that gift! LOL. (just kidding--it really is one of my gifts...just not this week. ;-) )

  106. oh yeah, I almost forgot! Happy Sunday, all! :-)

  107. Hugs to all.
    I am off to work. I lvoe 2/10 of a mile from the church, so I can wait til last minute!
    Anyhow, I will see some of you tomorrow and the rest next week. I will not be preaching, but will check in and cheer on. :)

  108. Good morning! After some ruminating and the first few skits on SNL, I made myself sit in the quiet and strt typing out text, not just random ideas that didn't connect. I ended up comapring the golden rule to the commandment we get in the gospel of John -two totally different ideas since the amount we usually love ourselves isn't much in comparison to the love Jesus shares. From there I used the text from Acts and sharing a story I've blogged about in the past and they way we tend to let fear and rationality override our actions. It's short but gets to the point. I may post it later when I get done with meetings, lunch, and a visit to the farm where I'm participating in my first ever CSA. Thanks again, everyone and have a great worship this morning!

  109. Good morning! After some ruminating and the first few skits on SNL, I made myself sit in the quiet and strt typing out text, not just random ideas that didn't connect. I ended up comapring the golden rule to the commandment we get in the gospel of John -two totally different ideas since the amount we usually love ourselves isn't much in comparison to the love Jesus shares. From there I used the text from Acts and sharing a story I've blogged about in the past and they way we tend to let fear and rationality override our actions. It's short but gets to the point. I may post it later when I get done with meetings, lunch, and a visit to the farm where I'm participating in my first ever CSA. Thanks again, everyone and have a great worship this morning!


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.