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Saturday, June 25, 2011

11th Hour Preachers Party: Binding and Unbinding

Admittedly I have an interesting opportunity this weekend. The Gospel reading from the Revised Common Lectionary are at the heart of it all, along with the reality that my congregation is joining the Faith Shared project. As participants of this project, and in honor of the fact that this congregation is in Dearborn, MI - an interfaith community and a church that is a co-sponsor of the Worldsview Seminar - the readings for this week offer a curious opportunity.

In case you haven't read the texts for this week you can find them here.

I believe that the woman coming from a local Jewish temple is going to comment on the binding of Isaac, as that is also the reading this week from the Torah. I look forward to what she will offer. I also look forward to what the Imam will offer from the reading of the Qu'ran.

And, so, I am deeply pondering what I will say about the Gospel....

Matthew 10:40-42
10:40 "Whoever welcomes you welcomes me, and whoever welcomes me welcomes the one who sent me.

10:41 Whoever welcomes a prophet in the name of a prophet will receive a prophet's reward; and whoever welcomes a righteous person in the name of a righteous person will receive the reward of the righteous;

10:42 and whoever gives even a cup of cold water to one of these little ones in the name of a disciple -- truly I tell you, none of these will lose their reward."

Wow. Welcoming strangers and prophets and young children who will sing the calling prayers from the Islamic faith...It's my first real foray into a truly interfaith worship service and I am curious how it will turn out.

What about you? Where are the texts leading you and what is the Spirit stirring in you?

I have lots of fresh produce from our local farmers market as well as delicious coffee. Pull up a chair and join the party! We're here to help if you have a quandary or need some feedback on your sermon. We're here to laugh with you, cry with you, hug you, pray, and support - in any way you need.


  1. Hi Terri - and RevGals. I left in the Isaac reading this week, just in case though I was sure I wouldn't preach on it. But, at the start of the sermon, I'm going to acknowledge that sometimes we just don't feel like taking the hard path and then I'll go on to preach on the gospel. Still using our Penetecost illustration - a rainbow we made from our hopes and dreams written on coloured pieces of paper, talking about how we reflect God to others and take the Holy Spirit into out communities - with a cup of cold water?
    But first, off to mens breakfast, (the joys of being the female preacher!) and then visiting family. Will probably get back to it later tonight.
    Have lots of fresh berries to share - including Scottish raspberries - help yourself.

  2. Terri - that sounds like a wonderful service you have planned - and so timely. Blessings with that,

  3. Terri, the interfaith service sounds interesting, hope it goes well.
    Liz, men's breakfast, lucky you :) I am not invited to Men's group, though if I pushed I could probably go. I rather like having that evening at home while my husband goes.
    This Sunday going with 1 Corinthians 12, reading from Pentecost; and am asking people to write their own business card with their name and gift or service. We are commissioning members of Church Council. As part of that I am, hoping, that the congregation will commission each other. If you hear shrieks of horror, or maybe laughter, you’ll know how it is going. Hopefully naming their gift or service, and being commissioned by the person next to them, will be more powerful than me talking about spiritual gifts.

    liz, I would love some Scottish raspberries - raspberries are usually expensive here, they are only grown in a few places in Australia because of the climate.

  4. Good morning, everyone!

    I'll have some of that delicious coffee and Scottish raspberries to go, please. I am off to help set up the flea market. I chose the very early shift so that I can get back here and have the rest of the day to sermonize.

    See ya later!

  5. Good morning! Liz, Pearl, and Sharon. I always appreciate having some portion of Saturday to myself, I work best in quietude....I'll have some's coffee for the early birds, or tea for this in the evening time zones.

  6. Good morning preachers.

    I'm about to go off and preside at what I think will be a largish funeral, and then I will be home to ponder Paul. I never preach on Paul, but I'm feeling called to do so this week, on the theme of what it means to be free and a "slave" to Christ. Some of you know that I was a psychologist before seminary, and although I'm not a behaviorist, my early training was heavily behavioral. I have always been struck by B.F. Skinner's assertion that none of us is truly free ("free will is an illusion") b/c we are controlled by environmental factors whether we are aware of them or not (although Skinner wouldn't have worded it that way). There is a real parallel there to the notion that we are either servants of sin or servants of Christ and our freedom in Christ is a constrained freedom.

    Not sure if that will work itself out into a sermon or if I will retreat to the gospel...we'll see as the day progresses.

    Terri, your posts yesterday and today remind me that I attended an interfaith seminar a few years back and there were some amazing panelists from Dearborn...wonder if they are involved in your program...

  7. hi. I love the little gospel lesson, but for some reason I decided to preach on Romans, in part based on an incident with my father, who is in a nursing home. One day he kept repeating the first half of 6:23, "The wages of sin is death." and I couldn't get him to say anything else until I supplied the last half of the verse, "but the free gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord."

    seemed so true -- that we all need someone to supply the last half of the verse sometime.

    but, executing this has proven to be not as easy as I thought.

    I could use prayers!

  8. RevDrMom, welcome! In the midst of this crazy week I too had a largish funeral for a beloved member, 42 years in the parish. I hope your morning goes well. I like the context of your sermon and look forward to how it may (or may not) unfold. And, yes, I imagine some of the folks who participated in the interfaith seminar you attended are also current leaders in this program.

    Diane - prayers for you. I know the feeling of thinking I had a reasonable context for my sermon only to find it more difficult to construct than I imagined.

    I will pop in and out this morning as the final session of the Worldviews Seminar is meeting. I have to lead a small group discussion in about an, keep the party going! Later I'll return with lunch - Middle-eastern faire!

  9. I really do need all the prayers I can get right now.

  10. Hey there Diane - prayers, you got em. I find preaching my own stories both exhilerating and alarming - can feel pretty vulnerable. that's a lovely one, though!

    Teri - so cool service! keep us posted how it turns out.

    RE my prep - nothing written except for a lot of great ideas from others in response to a question i posted on FB. I'm still going with jeremiah -- I'm the only one in the whole world, apparantly :b -- as main focus, with back-up from the gospel. love that "retreat to the gospel," btw. Dont we all?

    off to walk dogs now. and then funeral. but i'll be back here, I know. blessings all!

  11. prayers, Diane, for sure.

    Not preaching this week, but have posted a poem that arrived in my email in most timely fashion this week... and you can read it

  12. Oh Gals and Pals.... I am so discombobulated this morning. Dreamed last night I missed a wedding rehearsal (with a couple of my congregation who show now inclination to get married). Then today I did miss a meeting with an engaged couple. Like my subconscious was yelling, "Heads up! Heads up!"

    Trying to speed write a sermon, then go to a member's graduation party, then be there for my daughter on her own graduation weekend-- tomorrow!

    And, uh, you all know what happened in NY last night. It goes into effect on my Beloved's birthday.

    I'm discombobulated.

    But here's what I have, sermon-wise: O words, 1 idea. Using the gospel, plus verses 5-15 (which we missed out on this year, having such a late Easter). Telling the disciples how to go into the mission field. I'm starting with packing for college-- my own memories, looking towards Petra's. Talking about the contrast with how the disciples are sent. Talking about readiness = God's commissioning (that's all we need)! And if we feel daunted-- well, we can start small. One-cup-of- cold-water-small.

    But I'm still pretty discombobulated.

    Happy writing all!

  13. I'm mainly focusing on Paul as well. VBS and an unexpected funeral for a member of 48 years has put a wrench in my planning/writing. I'm also preparing to go to church camp on Monday. Its interesting how the associate "gets" to preach in the summer most often - precisely when there are so many things going like VBS, mission trips and church camp.... oh well :D

    I'm using the theme of servanthood and how being a servant of Christ is hard because it asks us to do difficult things sometimes (hospitality in the gospel and the impossible in Genesis) but being a servant to God is far greater than the alternative. At least that's the plan.

    I have BLUEBERRIES coming out my ears! But I'm afraid other than that I don't have much, just getting done with VBS and planning to be gone for a week next week means my frdige is looking bare! But I will bring BLUEBERRIES BLUEBERRIES BLUEBERRIES! And they ARE yummy!

  14. Juniper: exactly. Thanks.

    I think I have "something" now.

  15. Hi Juniper, welcome! I'll let you all know how it goes...

    Welcome also Crimsom, Magdalene, and Peace Babe....I'll take some blueberries! Love 'em!

    And, Peace Babe, I had one of those funeral myself this week...such a loss takes a toll on everyone. Prayers for you and your congregation.

    And, Magdalene, prayers for peace and focus. I know that discombulated state too well...

    Worldviews Seminar is over - now I intend to take my dogs for a nice long walk - because the sun is out for the first time in a week!

    later I'll have tea and dark chocolate.... :-)

  16. Diane, prayers will continue, even as you can began to breath with something to work with.

  17. Hello friends. I'm a bit upside down here this week as usually I sermonize in the morning while The Boy is at his Dad's. Today he was here this morning and just left for a week-long vacation with his Dad so the heart has a sad, but the head has a sermon to write!

    This week's 'by request' is about judgment/forgiveness and WHEN we are judged. Needless to say, it's been a little harder to put together than last week's baseball sermon.

    I do have stuff pulled together and will write soon... but first a nap?

    Terri, been thinking about you all week. I know it has been a hard one.

  18. Hey KJ - heres' a hug for you, or a shoulder bump, if you are still taking those....

    So, mundane but important question: what do you all take when you have a cold but really must go out? I just cannot bring this wad of kleenex and this nasty little cough to the lovely memorial I am conducting in someone's home.

  19. I've been working with the gospel reading this week, because the themes of welcome and hospitality are ones I've been wanting to address - this is a perfect opportunity.

    I'm reluctant to let the first reading sit unaddressed, but I don't have a clever way to tie it in to the idea of welcome, and I don`t have something clever to say...

  20. Juniper - Mucinex and a slug of Robitussin. But be warned, the Mucinex will make you thirsty!

  21. Greeting all! Busy times around here.

    Terri -your service sounds amazing!

    Diane - thank you for sharing that powerful memory about your father

    I leave for a weeks vacay on Tuesday - my head is already gone but the sermon fairy has not left a completed sermon in my folder. Preaching Romans with a side of gospel hospitality - feels like a needed counter weight perhaps to my default "all grace, all the time" trying to find the balance of "both /and" - grace and joyful submission to Jesus Christ as Lord and Savior.

    I have a crazy long list of stuff to get done before I leave- I feel pretty sure I am going to miss some of them.

    back at it!

  22. Welcome kathrynzj and parodie, and thank you for the thoughts and prayers. It's been a very. busy week indeed!

    I'm trying to sort out what I can offer as a 2-3 minute reflection on the gospel. Someone from the synagogue will offer a reflection on the Torah and someone from the mosque will comment on the Qu' between the three of us we'll have 6-8 minutes of sacred text reflection.

    I'm really grateful that gospel is on welcoming. I also appreciate what Thomas Long says about this passage in the Westminster Bible Companion: " The whole passage can be summed up by the opening words (of welcome)....In other words, to show hospitality and recptivity to a disciple of Jesus is showing hospitality to Jesus and to God. I'll focus on the showingnhospitality to one another is showing hospitality to God.

  23. Whoa!! How did it suddenly become afternoon? Has someone switched the clocks?

    Prayers abound Diane.

    Terri, the Interfaith program sound great.

    I have a framework in my mind, but no flesh on those bones. Am working with Abraham, Isaac and God.

    Could use some of those Scottish raspberries! Along with some chocolate.

  24. Greetings from Oregon! I'm on a very consoling and blessed visit to BFF/chosen sister inspired by the very recent loss of my Grandma Dorothy. So the only liturgy I am responsible for and thinking about is the simple memorial Eucharist we'll do at some point in the long weekend.

    Loving prayers, Diane, and joining with everyone in saying how wonderful your interfaith weekend sounds, Terri!

  25. Hi Pals,

    I had a wonderful fun night with a dear friend of mine last night. Because she's from out of town she spent the night and I loved showing her hospitality. So that's where my heads at. Wonder how it will come out in a sermon.

    Diane, prayers for you my friend.

  26. Welcome alli, Laura, and Godguurll. Sorry about the loss of grandmother, Laura.

    My little reflection is basically written. Now to spend some time in prayer, then walk the dogs. Later, dinner!

  27. OK, just wanted to let you know there are pecan waffles over at the Rambler's place. And granola -- for which I bought too many pecans, hence putting them in the waffles for brunch this morning.

  28. oh, and Saskatoon berry syrup. Just in case you're tired of blueberries!

  29. This comment has been removed by the author.

  30. How did it get to be afternoon indeed? I came home from the funeral feeling a little bit wiped out...more because of an exchange with the funeral director than the rest of it. So I've been reading and trying to get my head together but still haven't written anything. I miss my Saturday morning writing routine--works much better for me than writing later in the day.

  31. For people grappling with the first reading -- here's somebody else's take on it, which I found quite engaging. you can find it

  32. Crimson, I'm headed right over! Yum...

  33. OY!!! I was a short night with quite severe storms from 3 AM on. Up at 5 to attend Presbytery mtg.

    I wrote on Thursday. Have an ending in mind but it needs work. First...a nap! (and maybe some of those raspberries)

  34. Hey purple, welcome. Glad you are safe!

  35. Pearl, love the business card idea. Have been looking for a way to work with spiritual gifts. I think you've just given it to me.
    Peace Babe, I just discovered an allergy to blueberries, or strawberries, I never had before. I've been eating both A LOT and finally figured (confirmed by doc.) that my itchy tingly mouth, running eyes and nose and general "something is wrong" feeling was a food allergy. SAD :-(((

    so many funerals this week, sorry to hear it and hope you all are doing ok personally, especially thinking of you Terri. I did my week of funerals 2 weeks ago and feel like I'm just beginning to recover.

    I had an interesting morning. You can read about it here if you want. I wrote a draft last night for the sermon because I knew this morning would be taken. Still can't believe the afternoon is now gone. When did that happen?
    So now to edit, and think about making dinner.

  36. I am back from the flea market, where I stayed longer than I had expected. Then I had a nap, cleaned the kitchen, and went to the post office. I also made some brewed iced tea, so help yourselves to that along with the ice, lemon, mint and sugar &/or honey.

    Ahem ... I guess it's sermon time! I am focusing on Matthew with a sprinkling of Genesis with a hospitality theme. I fear that I have been preaching the same sermon over and over again, no matter what the text or the day!

    For the children's time, I am bringing a new welcome mat to talk about what it means to welcome people. I am thinking about leaving it in the chancel and possibly adding other "objects" to it over the summer.

    Did I hear that there some chocolate around here? Yea!

  37. I, too, love Pearl's business card idea. ((Tucking that away for another day - - maybe the start of the program year in September?))

    I spent my morning doing a lot of cleaning around the house since we have a sitter tonight. Dinner and a movie for me!

    We're having our service outside on the front lawn of the church tomorrow (if the weather cooperatees). There's a baptism as well. I decided to do something a little different to match the more casual atmosphere. We're reading the short gospel and then I'm going to tell the story of "God Said Amen" from Sandy Eisenberg Sasso. I'm not going to read it, but have it sort of memorized for story-telling. I'll intro it a little to make the connections between it and the gospel with sending and welcoming. Then I'm moving straight into the baptism with another little connecting piece that also pulls in the themes of sending and welcoming in the sacrament.

    I'm ready with the story and have the connecting pieces sort of in my head. The babysitter comes in an hour, though, so I'll deal with that after we get back or in the morning. Woo hoo! Have a great night!

  38. Hi all, lifting prayers for each of you. We finished VBS at noon today with a pie in my face because they exceeded my challenge number - 46 children and youth participating. I've come home, fed my face, washed my hair!!!(and the rest of me), rested a bit, found the props we need for tomorrow's service.

    Thankfully, I'm not preaching tomorrow. The kids are doing a skit that shares what they learned in VBS. Then after worship we are having ice cream and watermelon.

    Again, lifting prayers for each of you.

    P.S. I'm saving the Genesis passage for later in the summer as part of my Fearless series. Fear of letting go. It looks like I'm going to wind up preaching it the week before we take Manboy off to college 6 hours away.

  39. Crimson, thanks for that link - filing that idea away for next time I'm brave enough to tackle Abraham and Isaac.
    Sharon, me too on the repetition front but telling myself that that is the gospel - an old story told in myriad ways.
    Anyway, I have a sermon on the gospel over here
    Going to let it rest overnight and will tweak in the morning when I'm preparing a bulletin for the early service. Too sleepy to do it now.

  40. Praise the Lord for VBS - because that also means one less Children's Sermon! Instead we will sing three songs from the VBS week to "showcase" what we learned. It is annoying to use the children's moment as a way to "showcase" the kids and their reactions to regular children's moments, but it is a good opportunity in the worship order to let them provide a Word/word through their own voices.

    Diane - I'm really inspired by your story with your father. While I'm not sure how I would use it just now, before I forget I wanted to ask. Even if I don't use it this week, do I (we) have your permission to store it away for later use - its such a great illustration!

  41. Hi Nancy and SheRev! Welcome to the party. YES I have dark chocolate with almonds, mini Snickers bars, and brownies in the oven. I told my husband I was so tired I could settle for a tuna sandwich for dinner...but instead we ended up at a local BBQ place for ribs. Yum!

    Have a good night SheRev, and tomorrow sounds wonderful. I'll be over in a bit, Nancy to read what you posted,

    Welcome, Mid-life, rest well, and hope tomorrow goes week for you, too!

  42. hi everyone - back from funeral. got 2 pages of outline and now I must Write Like The Wind for one hour or a little less.

    still kind of fuzzy on childrens time - ideas?

  43. Good evening from Oxford,
    I am off lectionary this week, I have been asked to speak at a local church on Acts 10 with the theme being a "Prophetic people - challenging the status quo". Which is great, except... that when I read the passage the part that keeps jumping out is actually about challenging the status quo of a church that is motivated more by law and less by relationships.

    I don't think that's the message they are expecting.

    Hope you are all well, coffee, tea, hot chocolate are on offer for those in need

  44. We made a bad trade of The Boy for his Dad's old man Beagle dog and the old man Beagle is not happy. Poor boy, hopefully he takes a nap soon.

    I've researched this sermon to death and finally outlined it (which thankfully includes chunks of things I've already written) and now it's time to pull this thing together.

    Good to see everyone here ESPECIALLY since I know some of our regulars are off the grid this weekend.

  45. She REv, sounds like a great plan for tomorrow. Hope tonight is special.

    I'm glad I aimed for 15 min. b/c now I've got 20, better edit some more. (after Pizza - want any? it's up for grabs!)

  46. Hello everyone! Lots of funerals out there, it seems. I had two today--a simple graveside service for person #1, then to church for a full shebang for person #2, then back to the cemetery, then back to church for the luncheon. I zoned out afterwards for an hour just to gain some equilibrium back.

    Now I'm at a coffee place with a large, large mocha next to me. And a band preparing to play in about an hour, so hopefully I can get a start before then.

    Lots of moving things out there. I am also focusing on Matthew, and reading Jeremiah instead of Genesis (I think I'm using the semi-continuous readings for Bible study though). I love the welcome mat idea for children's time! Which means I need to find one to purchase somewhere.

    Sending strength and energy and focus out there for those who, like me, need it!

  47. Sermon done. I welcome you all to my Blog to read all about radical hospitality. Enjoy!

  48. Okay, anyone know what movie (potentially a comedy) it was where someone falls in the water and is flailing around madly until someone else in the movie tells them to stand up because the water is shallow?

  49. Still struggling to get the sermon that is forming to fit with the sermon they're expecting.

    Think I'll sleep on it, let it bubble away, and hopefully have a wave of insight very early tomorrow morning.

    Blessings all


  50. Hey Em, I will pray for dream inspiration!

  51. Tomorrow is my first Sunday back after maternity leave; I started back in the office on Monday this week. Sermon done (tweaked one from 6 years ago, just didn't have it in me to start from scratch this time). But don't have a children's time idea which is why I joined this party tonight!

    However, I just had an idea--maybe I could talk about the gospel and talk about welcoming and introduce the baby to the children. Talk about how when we welcome someone and do nice things for them we are welcoming God. We welcome this baby, but we also welcome others. Obviously that's not fleshed out yet, but might work. What do you all think?

    We are a really small, family-oriented congregation and folks are very excited about the baby, so I don't think people will feel like it's too much about me or our family.

  52. Silent, sounds great. And glad you are easing yourself back in. I 'allowed' myself a sustainable sermon every other week when I came back from maternity leave.

  53. I agree silent, nice idea for the children's time.

  54. A large mocha, dark chocolate with almonds--I'm getting hungry.

    Finished and it's only 6:20 p.m. here in the desert. Too early for an evening walk. Guess I'll have to settle for a glass of merlot while I cook dinner.

    Though it was painful, I loved grappling with the Genesis text. It all opened up for me when I realized that this was an exilic or post-exilic text. Think that's due to someone's comment last week. It's good to be on a team of preachers.

    Now to a month off. But first attending a memorial service for a good friend from seminary. Not ready for this stage of life.

  55. Here's to sustainable sermons!

  56. Kathrynzj - just read that in a book, WWII couple engaged to be married, race across lake to island, as she fails, he "rescues" her and is swimming back before he tells her she can stand up. No movie, sorry.

    Ali, sorry to hear that. Death really hits home when it's a friend.

    I'm done, but not posting till tomorrow. see y'all

  57. Holding all those who presided at funeral/memorials...and those personally touched with grief in whatever form it comes.

    A Cup of Ordinary Water....yep...Matthew it is.

    Hope to make it around to read the others tonight...

    For the children's time I am using a small table fountain and talking about how our lives "overflow"...when we help other people...even if it is just carrying a sack of groceries, sending a card, or picking up trash in the park.

  58. Strayed away from the lectionary a wee bit. Actually, Matthew text is my secondary text, but am mainly focused on Ephesians 4:25-5:2 text.
    We have had a difficult few weeks with people still carrying hard feelings over departure of previous pastor(he has been gone a year). It was basically a case of him being told (by higher governing body) that he had to find another call.
    We have had people place things on Spacehook about the church. They refuse to let up. So, we are at a point where elders are meeting with those who persist to cause trouble.
    And, all week, this text kept popping up. So that is what i preaching about. Tough times.
    But, in reality now, things are looking good for the church now.
    It is positive, but the few are having to be told that they can disagree, but carrying past is not helpful

  59. Mine is such a dinky little reflection that I'm not posting either...then again I am only one of three offering a reflection in the service so I need to be brief. Perhaps later I will write about the service.

    In the mean time, I'm going to head off to bed. Thanks for partying with me. I have, still warm brownies for the late nighters...

  60. Well, I kept on writing when the band started, and it actually worked pretty well! I have a pretty decent draft now I think...mostly centered around a story of hospitality I heard earlier this month at denominational I am going to make my exit now as we are between acts here and I don't want to look like a jerk and leave in the middle of someone performing.

    Will likely be back later as the polishing takes place...but hopefully it won't need to be a super-late night. Off to go purchase a welcome mat for the kids' time (thank you Sharon for the idea!).

  61. Finally joining the party, with a recycled Isaac sermon from three years ago (different church). I really wanted to grapple with the text in a new direction (which was what if Abraham didn't do what God wanted him to in the first place). But I've decided this congregation (pulpit supply) isn't the place to do so. Well, that and my company that wouldn't leave this week, and the birthday party tonight. It seemed a wiser course to pull out the old standby. (And Crimson, thanks for that link. More to ponder, for sure).

    And now you've reminded me (thank you) that I have to do a children's time. To go with the binding of Isaac. Do I just skip it and do the welcome mat idea? Hmmm.

  62. Hey KJ - no ideas on the water/flailing movie, but was thinking about the Big Lebowski when you were talking about watching the ex's dog. Cant actually quote it here, though, because it contains mostly fbombs. thx, btw, for the mucinex idea. I ended up with Afrin at the advice the pharmacist, which worked great, but has worn off now.

    So MOVING on to childrens sermon. Love Silent's idea (and congratulations on new little one!), but alas I have not produced a new child for 9 years, so that's not gonna work for me. We are sort of, in a low-key way, blessing members of our church who are going to camp this summer. So, was thinking about doing something about that, but what? I have rejected the great idea of roasting marshmallows at the Christ candle.

    And for Big Sermon, i think I'm about half done, but I'm at the point where I hate everything about it and think it's never going to get done. Hmm, long night ahead, I predict. Luckily, starting to count down to vacation, which is coming up in just a week.

  63. Juniper, roasting marshmallows on the Christ candle is a great image! Somehow I think it might please Jesus but not the serious Christians I know. I guess I just outed myself as "not serious" enough sometimes?!

    About my sermon: Pretty much un-postable as I am going to use the UCC extravagant welcome saying "No matter who you are or where you are on life's journey, you are welcome here" to begin with. And then ask if they will welcome me to join them, to go from the pulpit to the floor area. Then I am going to engage them in a conversation about hospitality. I've done this kind of thing a few times before and it goes over well. I hope it will this time, too. I have an outline and some info to throw in as we go. My main concern is keeping an eye on the time and keeping it moving forward to a conclusion.

    Many blessings to all in the preparation and the preaching of God's Holy Word!

  64. Ok, childrens time finally gelling -- glad you like that marshmallow idea, sharon - must be a ucc thing :)

    Gonna talk about welcoming not just being a thing that happens once, or when people first arrive, but a welcome extends all the way to goodbye. then bless the campers with a little thingy i found online. then sing go now in peace as a farewell/welcome song :)

  65. Juniper, good call listening to the pharmacist instead of me! :)

    Sermon preachable, will polish it tomorrow AM.

    Blessings upon all of you this evening and far into tomorrow.

  66. Well, I'm back from the married-parents-pastor date night. That meant a stop at church to drop off the glass bowl and pitcher that will be our baptismal font in the morning, a swing by the library to drop off overdue kids' books, a LOVELY dinner at a leisurely restaurant, a race to a completely non-sermon-worthy movie (The Hangover II, yes I did), a stop by Wal-Mart to pick up photo paper so I can print the baptismal baby's digital scrapbook page, and finally a swing through the ATM when we both realized we had no cash for the babysitter.

    The main topic of conversation, however, was the impending government shutdown in our lovely Neighboring State. The state that employs my husband for at least another few days. Some folks are predicting this shutdown could be for up to 2 months. We're bracing for life on just my income. We thought it was just going to be for one pay period, which is not ideal, but livable. Much longer than that, and it's another story all together. Oi.

    Anyway, I'm back now and planning to put at least one of my connection points "on paper." I know I'll sleep horribly anyway, so I'll do the other one in the morning. I sleep worse with a sermon done than with it unfinished.

    Can I get anyone anything? How about a little bit of the dessert we had from the restaurant? Get this - - sweet potato waffle fries sprinkled with sea salt with sides of Nutella and peanut butter. It was so gross on the menu we had to try it, because you wouldn't possibly advertise something that tasted as bad as that sounded. It's true. It ROCKED!

  67. Prayers for all of you finishing up- or getting started.

    Tomorrow is my last Sunday at this church after having been there for three years. I am on to more cpe and some pulpit supply after this. Mixed feelings about my last day- lots of relief, but some grief. Trying to honor them and me with the sermon, but I don't know if I will be too emotional to say what I want to say. I'm using the Genesis creation text from last week and talking about God's relationship with us and our relationships with each other. My plan is to talk about how my relationship with them will continue in spite of us not seeing each other. Maybe if I focus on the feast coming after the service it will work.

  68. Prayers for you, Jill...that sounds hard, and sad.

    I'm finishing up here, just going to transfer the files over to the zip drive and head to bed. Whew! Hope everyone that is still working finished up least as much as possible...

    Blessings on all pondering, preaching, and proclamation this coming day.

  69. sherev -- your working date description was craking me up, then I switched gears hearing about your upcoming situation. I'll be thinking of you guys and praying for resolution for you and for so many others!

    KJ - well I asked for the thing that would have the least side effects and taht's what they suggested. i'm pretty much foa lightweight for a 2-cold-medicine cocktail...

    ok, I have 1400 pretty good words, I'm going to sleep on them and then polish it up in the morning. have a great night, ya'll....

  70. Thanks for the support ladies, this is the most comfortable I've felt with a sermon on a Saturday night in a while. It is DONE and DONE and doesn't even need tweeking! My contribution for the Romans passage is here! I will even get a good night's sleep!

    Prayers for the late nights and those on the west coast. :)

  71. Good moring lovely ladies, hope you have all rested well.

    I have a hot cuppa, peanut butter toast and pondering done, I now need to bring this baby home.

    Hope you are all doing well, toast a coffee for anyone that needs it, at mine.



  72. Heading to bed. Blessings to all. See you in the morning.
    And a good morning already to those across the pond. Hope you are enjoying another day at Wimbledon and have a blessed day in the Lord.
    Heart is heavy today for those in Minot.

  73. Good morning preachers! Holding you all in prayer today.


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