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Saturday, September 03, 2011

11th Hour Preacher Party: Jesus Is With Us Edition

Good morning, gals and pals!  Here in the states, this is Labor Day Weekend, otherwise known as "the last hurrah" of summer.  It's also September, the week before the tenth anniversary of 9/11, and the 12th Sunday after Pentecost.  Let me know if I'm forgetting anything.

Do you know where your sermon is? 

Here in the Midwest, the State Fair is a big deal right now.  I'm expecting a fair number of people to be up at their cabins, rather than at church.  However, where-ever two or three are gathered, Jesus promises. 

Where is the Spirit leading you this weekend?  Are you on- or off-lectionary?  Not preaching?  Winding your way through the letter to the Romans?  Looking for a really great (or sustainable) children's message?  Doing something special for Labor Day?  Lots of inspiration to be had here

Come for the famous blueberry pancakes, turkey sausage and fair trade coffee; stay for the conversation. 

After all, where two or three are gathered (even virtually), Jesus with be with us.


  1. Time to get serious about this Sermon; Market stall today for the church and primary school, both on the same site, then a nap, dinner, and time to get this out of my head and onto paper.
    Last Sunday afternoon the church had a Pleasant Sunday Afternoon, and the choir sang "What a Wonderful World". I am launching from that into a reflection on relationships, what makes life wonderful, or not so wonderful.
    I’ll post when I am done.

    Those blueberry pancakes look wonderful.

  2. I'm on romans, and I am usually done on Friday but was just too sleepy last night, so I'm feeling a little panicky about getting this done soon......

  3. Finished, I think, it is printed off anyway. I 'spoke' the sermon into the computer, so there may still be some mistakes, though I think I found them all.

    Sermon is What a Wonderful World

    If you are looking for a children's talk on Matthew, there is a PowerPoint and story at sermon4kids

    There are the scraps of chocolate pecan slice that I made for the stall today, the bits that didn’t look ‘good enough’ to sell, but they taste yummy, help yourself.

    Morning Susan, hope you finish soon.

    Happy writing everyone while I sleep.

  4. I notice the children's story link doesn't work, so try here

  5. good morning, Susan and Pearl! glad you are here. I'm up and yawning and appreciate both your link and your sermon, Pearl. Susan, I'm not done with mine (On Matthew) and kinda wish I had done Romans. Let us know how it comes out.

    Yes, I do always kind of hope for the Friday night finish, but it hasn't been coming lately.

    How is everyone else doing? Do you need anything yet?

  6. Good morning all. I have blueberry muffins to share. I also have a one page scribbled outline that I need to flesh out. Other than that, very few responsibilities today - WooHoo! The last few weeks have been go, go, go with special events every Sunday... I'm looking forward to some ordinary time here in ordinary time.

    I'm preaching on Romans 13: 8 - 10 with a little Good Samaritan thrown in today. Title is "Love Won't Let Us." Continuing our look at our new mission and vision statement. If we are living out the greatest and second commandment, love won't let us stay turned inward and ignore the world.

    I'll take a break in a bit for a farmers' market run. I'll bring back fresh goodies for us all.

  7. Good morning, all! I aimed for an early finish this week - was working on the Romans text. I've been in a mode that I need to get ahead because I start a DMin program this month, and I'll need to be one sermon ahead when I'm away for class. Hoping to make some headway today.

    In the meantime, I have coffee and a nice hammock if sermonizing makes you want to nap. I'll post my sermon later today, for what it's worth.

  8. Good morning! I am up early and in the church office already! I have been working on a dramatic reading for tomorrow, building off of the Exodus story. I'm a bit frustrated with how the lectionary is jumping through entire portions, leaping from the birth of Moses one week to his meeting God in the burning bush the next, to the Passover meal this week, skipping over much of what has led to this. So, my dramatic reading covers a bit of the conversation that happens between God and Moses and Moses and Pharaoh. The reading ends with the final line after the tenth plague, Pharaoh setting the Isralites free and asking them to pray for him (again), asking God to bless him.

    We are beginning a week of prayer, including a prayer vigil on Labor Day, prayers with the intent that the tragedy of Sept. 11, 2001 can be transformed into a mission of hope and unity. So...following the dramatic reading I will reflect on the idea of praying for those who hurt us, using an example from my own life. I am also looking at some Midrash on the idea of "God hardening Pharaoh's heart".

  9. Oh, and I'm connecting it all to Romans, the command to love one another....

  10. welcome everyone! Thanks for the blue-berry muffins, Midlife! yum.

    I Like the title "Love won't let us". Kind of wish that was what I chose, instead of "the power of 2." I'm bringing in a little Ecclesiastes as well.

    Chilly Fingers, I would love to hear more about your D Min program. I would like to do a D Min in preaching but sometimes I think I'm getting too old.

    Thanks for the Hammock, too.

    Anyone for coffee? and a slight touch of procrastinating?

  11. Good morning! I am back in the preaching saddle again after 3 weeks of vacation and a missed Sunday because of last week's storm. Feeling a bit rusty. Preaching on the gospel and wanting to talk about how Jesus is calling us into community and what that means. I actually preached on that 3 years ago, but I want to frame it a bit differently for this particular congregation. I found David Lose's article over at Working Preacher to be really helpful. I started writing yesterday, but didn't get very far. I'm one of those writers who has to get the opening down first and I'm struggling with that.

    And I have a busy weekend...meeting with the wardens later this morning and a wedding rehearsal this afternoon at a venue a little over an hour's drive from here. The wedding is tomorrow afternoon. The wedding is at the beach, and much anxiety ensued about damage, no power etc. after the storm but I think all is well.

    Diane, I'd like to do a DMin in preaching too, and I'm probably older than you...if money were no object I'd go for it right now. We're never really too old if the desire still burns, right?

  12. I'm re-working a sermon I wrote on internship called "Putting on Jesus." It's a kickoff for a sermon series on the epsitle readings. I looked over it last night and mostly it needs a new introduction. So it should finish up easily.

    Which is good because I am tired and in need of some time off. Taking a Sabbath continues to elude me and I'm having trouble balancing working out of my home with just living in my home. And the rural parish 'being on' thing every time I step out my front door is wearing me down.

    So the goal is to get the sermon finished up and take a trip to Bismark for shopping. I'm going to take Sunday afternoon and Monday as well. It worries me that I am so tired after only 2 months at this call.

  13. Good morning pals,

    This Sunday is the end of the pick a sermon series and I'm doing the sermon on the End of the World. How appropriate. Actually I was supposed to preach on it last week but due to the hurricane we cancelled church. Ironic huh.

    So I've had two weeks to think about this sermon, I have so much information but an itty bitty communion meditation to pack it into.

  14. Terri,

    Thank you for the spaghetti sauce recipe you gave me via this site August 20th. I made it last night, my best from scratch sauce yet!!!!

  15. Welcome, Ramona, God_Gurrlll and RevDrMom.

    I'm going to have to go back and look for that spaghetti sauce recipe now. (maybe for later today? what think you?) Ramona, I'm envious. I'm avoiding completing my sermon.

    But, RevDrMom, your words give me hope. I'm working on the gospel, and community too.

    But, something isn't working about it.

  16. RevDrMom, do you have fabulous intern joining you this week, or another week to go?

  17. yes, can't wait to meet fabulous intern.

    and by the way, welcome, Susan!

  18. rushing this morning, pausing to drool over pancake pic -- ooh -- preaching tomorrow on what happens and what it means when the Word of God gets Ve-ry Spe-ci-fic with us, taking a gunnysack of protective gear for the kids (ovenmitts, safety helmets, goggles, soccer shin pads) and talking about what we PUT ON, and why. That is all. Love you! back later.

  19. Rev.Dr.Mom, I, too, am preaching on community, David Lose's question, "What kind of community do you seek?" is giving me the platform to explore life in Christian community. From Matthew, always reaching out and working to reconciliation. From Paul a community knit together by love. Think I'll take a look at Acts before I sit down and pull all this together.

    I have a basket of Green chili rolls to share.

  20. I liked the David Lose piece this week also. Just starting to write, but will not settle in fully until after the 16 yr old leaves in a bit. One of his good friends moved about 3 hours away and he's going to drive to visit. Once he's gone, I'm hoping the sermon writing will distract me from the worrying I'll be trying not to do. I'll be back when he's gone.

  21. Susan, yes fabulous intern will be back this week. We've missed him!!

  22. I have a draft. It needs some tweaking but I'm so happy to have a draft before I head off to other things, which I'm about to do.

    Back later!

  23. Good morning, everyone. I'm also looking at community--mostly the Matthew passage. I'm struck by the contrast in the two uses of ekklesia in the Gospels--both Matthew. "The gates of Hell shall not prevail against it" in ch. 16 and now Jesus' inevitable hypothetical, "If your brother or sister sins against you . . ."

    Ramona, I sympathize with the difficulty of finding Sabbath. What has finally worked for me is to take 24 hours from when I get home on Sunday. So usually my Sabbath is from about 1 on Sun afternoon until 1 on Monday afternoon. I pray you find a rhythm that refreshes you.

  24. Hi, all~
    I'm getting a late start after a sleep-interrupted night. The sermon has a beginning and a direction, but I need to fill in the blank places. So instead of writing, I've been cleaning out dish cupboards to make a pile for Goodwill, turning over-ripe fruit into banana bread and half-watching "In and Out" on the the Oprah Winfrey Network.
    And, there's a wedding this afternoon.
    So my plan is this:
    1) Get banana bread out of the over.
    2) Take the dog out.
    3) Get dressed for the wedding.
    4) Take my laptop to church and finish the sermon while the florist decorates.
    Meanwhile, I'll try to write a little while the bread finishes baking.

  25. I'm focusing on the phrase 'what you loose on earth is loosed in heaven." I'm going to talk about forgiveness and letting go. I'm not going to preach about the following experience, but will draw from it: the short version- I was repeatedly molested by an older brother when I was young. I used to pray that he would die- and he did. When he was 17 he died of spinal meningitus. I was 13 at the time of his death and for years I carried around the belief that my prayers killed him. I clung to that belief mixed with anger and helplessness. I just couldn't let anything go.

    In my 30's I visited his gravesite. After a minute or so of just standing there I heard as clearly as if the words were booming from a loudspeaker "what you bind on earth is bound in heaven and what you loose on earth is loosed in heaven." It was as if a giant pair of invisible spiritual scissors cut the tie that still bound my brother and I together. In an instant all the messiness of anger, guilt, shame was gone - and never has returned.

    It was a profound lesson in life about letting God be about God's work, and my work was to simply loosen the ties of anger and a desire for vengeance and ... so many emotions.

  26. Wow, this party is already rocking! 25 comments and it's not even 11:00a EST yet!

    I was up early but am late getting here and getting started. Went for a long run this morning, which was great, but it came at the expense of getting going on the sermon (I already have my beginning written at least). Am also going to the opening U-M game today - oy! Don't know why I said yes to the free tickets when I knew it would be a sermon prep day. At least I know my kids won't last past half-time....

    Is anyone else preaching the Psalm? Was I totally crazy for picking it? Probably!

  27. p.s. I have no food to offer but would happily take some of those pancakes!! My son just came in and saw the picture of them and is wishing for some too!

  28. GG- glad you liked the recipe. I've made it a couple of times and still really like it, so simple!

    My dramatic reading is finished. My little reflection on it is also finished. BUT - I've been working on these a bit over the last three and around my kids coming to visit. This afternoon my husband and I are going out with our son, who is here for two weeks.

    I have also finished the outline for our special Labor Day eucharis which will launch our Prayer Vigil that we will hold on Monday - which launches our Week of Prayer for Transforming the Tragedy of September 11 into a Mission of Unity and Hope. For that I have created a Vigil prayer book with prayers from around the world and various faith traditions - and I created a take home book of Daily Prayers for Individuals and Families to use at home during the week.

    yes. Its been a busy week of litugical creation. BUT I think I can take some time off this afternoon and enjoy being with my family.

    Anyone interested in any of the resources I've created, let me know via email mompriest at gmail dot com.

  29. Ramona, take heart. The first year of any new call is the most exhausting - everything is new! But, like any new understaking, you will build up stamina and processes for self care - it will not always be this exhausting.

    That said, you do need to be intentional about carving out ways to care for yourself and be incognito - even if that means going into the big city now and then to shop, eat, etc.

  30. wow, welcome everyone! Songbird, Rev Deb, Earthchick, Elastigirl and Peace Mennonite! It's nice to have all of you here!

    RevDeb -- all I can say is "wow." wow.

    Elastigirl, I too loved some elements of David Lose' article. In fact, I posted the question, "what kind of community do you want to be?" on facebook yesterday, with good results.

    But I decided to start my sermon by referencing Ecclesiastes 4.

    It's going along now, but we'll see.

    Ramona, I resonate with your remarks on sabbath.

  31. oh, Ramona, I like what Terri says. The big city is a good idea.

  32. Rev Deb - powerful story! I found some interesting Midrash on the Exodus text, regarding God hardening the Pharaoh's heart, that follows a similar vein..if interested look: here and here

    they may not be useful, but who knows? maybe?

    Blessings on you as you reflect on this powerful experience of grace.

  33. Rev Deb, your sharing makes this holy ground. Bless you.

  34. Rev Deb, you and I posted at the same time and I missed your post until just now. I am blown away by it. That is POWERFUL. Thank you for sharing it, and blessings on you.

  35. Ramona, I'm remembering now after my first month and a half of ministry at my first call, I went home on Labor Day weekend for two days. I cried when I had to leave, because I was so exhausted.

    Not long after that, other single pastors from the area (I was single at the time) took me to the nearest Big City for a day of fun. that was good, too.

    It does get better.

  36. there seems to be a lull right now; just wondering if anyone needs anything: another cup of coffee, lunch, anything?

  37. What I need is someone to write this sermon for me!

    Heh. Barring that, I will take a cup of coffee. Please and thank you!

  38. I've made a great big chopped salad if anyone is interested in lunch.
    The last few weeks, I have felt that my sermons were heavy. So, oddly, I have decided to lighten this Sunday's sermon up a little. I am preaching Matthew, not the lightest of texts to say the least; however, I'm going to use Delmer Chilton's story about the Pentecostal Holiness folks excommunicating tobacco farmers in the spring and restoring them in time to tithe in the fall. And Barbara Brown Taylor's wonderful story about lending a lawn mower.

    I looked back at my sermon from six years ago and saw that I actually used the word shunning! I am still working toward the notion that we are supposed to treat sinners in our midst the way Jesus treated Gentiles and tax collectors.

    The statements of binding and loosing are troubling. I'm still working on that.

    Okay, back to football and knitting.

  39. Well I've done lots of things this morning, none of which involved writing a sermon. Battling the blues today. Nest seems emptier when I slow down. Finally, I poured tea in my new favorite mug, sat down had a one-on-one with God - got some things straigtened out. Feeling ready to go now - yet still procrastinating on the interwebs.

    Fresh cantaloupe from farmers' market for anyone who would like some.

  40. Welcome Margaret! I want to know both those stories you reference. I was thinking about the story of the guy who was kicked out of church, and God said to him, "Don't feel too bad. they kicked me out long ago."

    I think I need to find something lighter soon, too.

    Earthchick! Here's your coffee. I often consider having my husband write my sermons for me, but even though he is a fine theologian, I'm not sure it would work :(.

    I think I AM going to knit a little before I go to church for the afternoon.

    And by the way (drum roll, please), I have a sermon. Such as it is.

    A children's message? not so much.

    Thinking about getting cord and passing it out a la "The three fold cord" in Ecclesiastes and connecting that to Matthew.

    Other than that, I got nothin'.

  41. midlife: yes, cantaloupe, please!

    and thank you.

    praying for you in the midst of your empy nest.

  42. Good afternoon all - so far I have written some over due letters, picked up communion supplies for tomorrow, purchased baptism gift and card for a sweet little one, keeping in commmuication with our youth group overnighting at a near by Christian concert... sermon..? not there yet.

    RevDeb- thank you for sharing that very powerful story. God is able to do what we can not.

    Preaching on community like many of you as we celebrate communion and welcome sweet baby Grace into the family of God. At our informal church on the lawn this week , an elder shared that there is a belief among our oldest members that our church is dead already. Apparently they are convinced that I am the only reason anyone comes and when I leave the doors will close. The feeling expressed is Why give- why care when the Body won't survive anyway..? I have no plans to go anywhere and yet it breaks my heart because they are acting now as if the church was already dead even though we have a large and growing bunch of young families and children.

    so yes- David Lose' question about what kind of community we will be is much on my mind. Title is Sinners, Tax Collecters and Gentiles ( as in - what would our church be like if we treat all those folks like Jesus did ?)
    The same folks who believe we are already dead are also upset about a recent gathering of our part of the tribe ( pcusa) Lots of fear and anxiety...

    as for me- I am looking forward to getting out of town after church, potluck and family party to spend time with RevDrKate for Labor Day relaxing and hanging out in her new part of the world.

  43. Celeste -- wow. lots here. can't imagine why your elders think the church is dying if you have this new crop of families.

    And it's so neaqt to kbnow that you are going to spend time with RevDrKate. Great her from me!

    p.s. I like your sermon idea.

  44. Rev Deb...thank you for sharing that story; it brings those words alive for me in a whole new way. Thanks be to God for the freedom you found.

    I'm about to put a pork loin on in the crockpot, if anyone wants to plan on some at dinnertime :-)

    I am doing an all-age sermon on the plagues, so that the Passover story is set in its context. We leapt from the burning bush to the 10th plague with nary a pause in-between, and I want folks to know this story. So, as I tell the story, I'll give sections of the congregation sound effects to go with each of the plagues, each time going through the previous ones and adding a new one. I'll also use a little refrain each time that lets them chime in with "Pharaoh said, 'No!'" At the Passover part, I'll change the tone--no sound effect for that--and finish telling the story. It's really simple and very memorable; if anyone wants a copy, I'm glad to share.

    For now, however, I am trying to clear out debris from various parts of our house that just have way.too.much.stuff. I'm barely making a dent, but I'm trying!

  45. Hello everyone! Just finished officiating at a wedding here and am about to head off to the reception. I skimmed all the comments here before the wedding but didn't have time to chime in.

    We have Ezekiel 33:7-11 instead of Exodus...which is giving me a real headache. But Romans is the perfect text to read alongside it and even against it. So while I've been focusing on Matthew for a good long time now, I am considering shifting focus and talking about Ezekiel and Romans and which one of them defines the nature of our community.

    Margaret, I love to read what Delmer has to say (even at his previous blog before Lectionary Lab) and I think he really hit the nail on the head this week! Not sure if I will use the tobacco farmer story, but I will definitely be relying on his sermon for inspiration.

    No food here, but I'll see what I can filch for you all at the reception :)

  46. Preaching a vengeance text is hard! OOF.

    Okay, I'm taking a break to take my kids to the football game. My husband has a wedding rehearsal this afternoon, so he's not able to go with us. :( I'm actually quite nervous about being solo with the kids at the Big House (with 109,000 other people!). Send me some good vibes!

    Back later.

  47. This comment has been removed by the author.

  48. RevDeb, your words inspire me. Thank you for sharing. Such a powerful story.

    Celeste, the elders think "their" church is dying. They long for the church of their heyday, not the church as it is now.

    Rough draft of the sermon is up. Come on over and read all about taking the end times seriously but not literally.

  49. thinking about linking to my sermon.

    I'm here at church, and really need a nap. suddenly. do I dare?

  50. Rev Deb, I feel like I heard a sermon in your story, thank you.

    Hi All, This morning was our church's at the food bank, 140 families served and our little church managed 12 volunteers! yay.

    Wrote the draft of sermon last night on Romans, "Teach Me" and thanks to my friend Nancy Ferg, I've got a message on experiential learning, which is what Loving Our Neighbor is all about. Loved David Bartlett's comments in Feasting.

    I've tried coffee, water, snacks but still having trouble finishing this up. I guess the Preacher Party is just what I need. Thanks.
    blessings to all

  51. Not preaching this week, but preaching next week and working on THAT sermon. I am preaching for a possible interim call.
    Not what I had hoped for, did not want to do interim again.
    I did start back at the Great Big Toy store. We have a new manager who is proving to be unpopular overall. Lots of the longtime folks are not fans.
    So, it is interesting to see how the response will be. I actually enjoy doing retail work to see how things work and get a feel for another work-place. But, right now this is not fun. So, I am thinking on Moses and leading the Children of Israel out of Egypt-land.

  52. We're a half hour out to the wedding, and I have a complete sermon draft. It feels more workmanlike than lyrical, but I suppose that's okay, too. I'm still pondering how to handle the Children's message, whether to tie it to the gospel or tell the Passover story with a tie in to the fact that we are having Communion. We're still two weeks ahead of Rally Day, so I have no idea what sort of child attendance there will be, anyway.
    I'll check in after the ceremony!

  53. Finished!! At 1:30 p.m. mountain time. Almost a record. This sermon took me places I had not expected to go. Looking at what happens when community goes haywire and ending with Paul's call to love one another.
    Surprises all around with this one. A little scary.

    Guess I'll have to clean my study, but looking at that pancake picture, I may just have to go get some blueberries.

  54. Okay, first thanks to all who put me onto David Lose's piece. It is the perfect tie-in I needed from gospel to upcoming parish retreat.

    Second, RevDeb, thank you so much!

    Third, does everyone now get the comments in a small box about as big as a postcard? If not, someone please help me stop this madness. I use Explorer and that may be the problem.

    And last but not least, I think my sermon is done. I have posted it here. I welcome feed back. The Delmer Chilton story didn't make the cut so I may go back and revise it. Two stories felt like one too many and the BBT one is more where my congregation is at these days. Many are still angry with me for firing the long-time organist even though they will agree she wasn't one. Of course, no one is telling me that. Hmmm.

    Pork loin sounds wonderful. I'll have to drag out the piece I have left over for my own dinner.

  55. Songbird - more workmanlike than lyrical - exactly where I am - but put in a more lyrical way than I could. Feels too preachy - but then again - I'm talking about loving as doing not feeling. Hmmmmm.

    Margaret, I was getting the small box too, until someone taught me to right click on "comments" and then click open in a new tab.

    Rev Deb, there are no words to express the sadness and joy found in reading your story. Thank you for blessing us with it.

  56. hey everyone, hi. I'm getting ready to preach the early edition, and I have a different idea for tomorrow's children's message (if there are indeed children).

    Margaret, I have the same issue with the little box. A couple of weeks ago, someone told me how to fix it, but I can't remember now.

    anyone else?

  57. Mid-Life THANK YOU, i had the post-card sized box too, but didn't used to and couldn't figure how to get the big screen. "right click" open in new window - such a simple fix. = sermon illustration???

    I watched another MAD MEN episode while walking around with my iPad doing wash and chores. Just finished prayers for worship, now another sermon edit.

    Children's message: chalk board, white board, iPAD, have them tell me about the smart boards in school, medium changes, message doesn't - relate to our great message of good news. Or so I hope to do it this way...

  58. Holy ground indeed. Love the safe space here for sharing. Rev Deb - you've preached to me. Thanks. I did most of the sermon yesterday so that I could have a day out with my mum today, so just getting around to editing now. Using Old Testament, as part of a new all age curriculum I've been involved in writing - will post a link later - very Scottish - but some of the children's ideas might be helpful. The next few weeks are focussing on what kind of community we're called to be. This week, as we consider a community on the move, we're opening a suitcase with tolls for the journey.
    Have some home made chicken liver pate to share.
    Be back once I've edited.

  59. If anyone would like to look at the all age worship material, Spill the beans, it is linked here

  60. Some sermons (not many)are pure creativity flowing forth like water from a spring, some are birthed through the pain of labor, some are wrestled. This one feels hammered out. Need to walk away for a while and see if I can get some inspiration so I can preach without being preachy. Check in later.

  61. stuck on a good children's sermon (that doesn't require a trip to the store). I'm preaching Romans, and it's my last Sunday with this church after 4months of sabbatical supply. The four that are on textweek are not doing it for me. I love the ideas from children's lectionary but I don't have those books. Anyone doing a children's lesson on Romans with any ideas?

  62. susan, that's a really tough passage to get a children's message from - well I think so anyway. - wondered if saying something about how the commandments that make life good are no use when tucked away in the pages of a book - but, brought out into the light and followed - make a difference to all around? sorry - that's as much as I can think of. hopefully others will have better ideas:)

  63. I've decided the sermon has had enough tweaking for tonight. Still got communion prayers to write, so onto that. Just about to make some fresh coffee to wake me up a bit - 10:45pm here!


  65. I've posted my sermon (The Way We Do the Things We Do. Now I have to find an organist, as I discovered after the wedding that we have a scheduling snafu. So far, no luck, which is not surprising given it's Saturday night and a holiday weekend.

  66. Songbird -- Arg! good luck.

    everyone -- I just got done with church and am packing up and going home. Will be with you for the evening after that.

  67. Susan,for children's time on Romans I'm asking the kids about rules at school, preschool, home and church then talking about how many of them could be covered with Love your neighbor. No object to show or give. Also we will review the hand motions they made up last week to go with our new mission statement - reaching out with the love of God to bring people closer to Christ. I probably will do that first then talk about reaching out with love with above discussion of rules.

  68. Hello again everyone...the reception was great, if extremely hot, and now I am back and trying to get started on this sermon that has been bouncing around in my head. It would be great if I could get this written and then watch the second half of the football game.

    Body is not on my side however...I just fell asleep listening to the Working Preacher podcast. Not a good sign!

    Margaret, wondering where you found the BBT sermon on this doesn't seem to be in any of the books I have.

  69. I am so blessed to have a partner who listens to my sermons and then helps me put it in regular people language so that the average person in the pews can understand what I'm saying. sermon rewrite is up on my blog.

  70. I have a great deal of respect for all of you wrestlers and grapplers with hard texts. Since I'm guest preaching for a congregation I don't know at all, I decided to sidestep the regular lectionary this week and go with the "Seasons of Creation" lectionary readings instead. I'll focus on Acts 17:22-29 and share a story about hunting for mushrooms after a hurricane--a meditation on the discipline of seeing God in Creation.

  71. I'm still here and plugging along. I've had a hard time keeping my focus ever since leaving for the football game earlier today. If I could've gotten myself to stay on task, I could've been finished by now. I think.

    Anyone else still kicking around?

  72. Hi, I'm back for the evening. I will be checking in while making little "flash cards" for my children's message.

    The sermon went okay at 5:00, I think.

    Our little chapel service was well attended today, mostly by elderly people (as usual). However, there were two young adults there that I didn't know.

    Afterwards, they told me that they had just come to the Twin Cities to begin attending Gustavus Adolphus College (my alma mater) and wanted to attend an evening service.

    so that was nice.

    I'm having trouble with the little box thing, but will try to read your sermons to night.

    Don't know if i'll put mine on the blog tonight.

  73. Well, I decided to post my little homily...Pray, It's The Last Thing

    It's very short and follows the dramatic reading of Exodus using excerpts from chap. 7-13...

  74. I'm here, earthchick...and strangely enough, I am now pondering going to the local sports bar and trying to write my sermon while watching the game I want to watch. It seems mad, I know, but it just might work...?

    At least my mom is texting me score updates while I am here at church.

  75. Well I like the sports bar writing idea. Let me know how that goes. I've edited again. I like my content (ok) but not sure of the structure. So i've worked on some transitions but am leaving things in their current place.
    I hear the advice to "walk away" and am doing that again. at least till a morning edit. hopefully the outline titles I put in for myself, help me see where I'm off track.
    Who outlines their sermon? Do you just write or use a frame-work?

  76. If REvDrMom is still around --

    about the DMin Thing

    What makes you think that you are older than I am?

    Regardless, thanks for the advice about going for it.

    I am considering that.

  77. semfem, good luck writing at the sports bar! I can barely concentrate when it's just my kids making noise in another room - I doubt I would survive long working in public. More power to ya!

    Nancy, I do not outline my sermons, I just write and see how things unfold (sometimes I have a good idea of how they will unfold, other times not so much). But I'm working on shaking up my sermon writing routine and rhythm and outlines may become a part of that. We'll see!

  78. Lovely big box, thanks to right-clicking (which is left on my mouse as I mouse lefthanded)!

    the BBT sermon is in Seeds of Heaven, near the back of the book.

    And I think I will open with Delmer Chilton's story after all. Sort of a "how not to use Scripture" kind of thing. That's still rumbling in my head.

    Good night everyone. I'll read the other sermons tomorrow as is my usual practice.

  79. Diane, If you do a right mouse click on the number of comments, an options box will open, choose "open in new window" to get the blogger comments in a big window.

  80. thanks, I got the right click thing now, and am reading your sermons, little by little.

    got this little "when does one plus one one equal three" children's message going, that I think I'll use.

    now, gotta make flash cards.

    how is everyone doing?

    RevDrMom? are you still out there?

  81. Diane, I am older than dirt! (58) Shhh....

    The thing for me is that I have already spent many years of my adulthood as a student (BS,MS, PhD, and MDiv all after the age of 30). For me to go back to school again would be well.... ludicrous, perhaps.

  82. RevDrMom, I was trying to figure out what blog is yours. I'm 54. gonna be 55 next April. soooo...all depends on finances, but I do have a passion for preaching.

  83. I want a DMin in preaching, too! Always have...but not looking like I will get to it in this life time...oh, and Diane, I'll be 55 in Feb. I had forgotten that we are the same age....basically

  84. Dmin eeekkk, I'm still recovering from getting my Mdiv.

    Nighty night pals.

  85. I remember an old Dear Abbey column (or Ann Landers, maybe) in which someone wrote to say they were thinking about going back to med school but feared she would be too old by the time she finished school and residency in 8 years. The response was "And how old will you be in 8 years if you **don't** go to med school?" That's always stuck with me as a helpful way of thinking about more schooling as the years go by.

    I have done many useful things today, mostly around the house, but few of them have much to do with my sermon. It's pretty clear in my head; however, I know there are some transitions I need to have nailed down specifically and I am feeling too darn lazy to do so. At least the spray arms in my dishwasher are now cleaned out (yes, that's how desperate I was to procrastinate!) ;-)

  86. Oh, mercy, y'all. I just keep writing and writing and it just keeps sucking and sucking. Trying so hard for an ending - and it's not coming!

    FWIW, to those of you talking about a DMin, I just started my DMin in June, and there are people of all ages in my program (at Columbia Seminary), from early 30s to 60s. 54, 55, 58 - whatever! - none of that is too old.

    (I realize I'm butting into your conversation and that age is not the only factor you're talking about - but I'm just saying!)

  87. Age is not the only factor, really, it has to do with figuring out finances too. I do not want to take out loans, so we would have to be able to pay for it, which is Possible, I think. If I was younger, I might feel ok about taking out loans, but not at this point. I'm so glad to be paid up.

  88. otherwise, how is everyone doing?

    I'm tired, getting up early to practice the sermon, so I will probably only check in once more.

    just to let you know, my first service is at 8:00 tomorrow morning.

  89. Money is a more significant factor than age. I am feeding my love for school by auditing two classes at two different seminaries this semester. One is free, and the other paid for by continuing ed funds.

    And earthchick, not butting in at all!

  90. And I will be paying off my current student loan debt until I retire and maybe more loans = not so much an option here.

  91. Just doing my part to push us towards 100 :) I really should go get the laundry out of the dryer and go to bed; tomorrow will be a long day!

    Happy preaching everyone!

  92. I am putting this one to bed, even though I'm not happy with it. I tried my darndest to be faithful and unafraid of the vengeance part of this psalm, but I feel like I couldn't get it quite fully treated in as deep and rich a way as it deserved. *sigh*

    Anyway. I'll sleep on it and see what I think in the morning. Blessings on all y'all!

  93. thanks, Rev Dr Mom!

    yeah. I know how you feel.

    thanks for the push toward 100.

    I organized my knitting.

  94. Sounds like everybody is making progress. The DMin I am/will be working on is in Congregational Growth and Development. Am hoping it will help me help my church, and it's by the grace of God that a particular foundation is paying for it. I couldn't go if they weren't. Anyway, headed to bed - and I hope everyone has a beautiful day tomorrow. And, then, maybe our congregations will be back from summer vacation and ready to bring on the fall!

  95. Blessings for sermon mojo for those still writing-- and restful, restorative sleep for all of us!

    Anyone still up is welcome to some frozen custard (old-fashioned ice cream) from the old seasonal stand in the next town. They close for the season on Monday night, so I brought some along for y'all to savour!

  96. Glad some things are coming together...I am at about 1100 words and not quite sure how to wrap this one up...but hopefully soon!

    I never did get over to the sports bar, which might be a good thing because we seem to have fallen behind.

    Sweet dreams, those who are heading to bed.

  97. Hi,

    back from worship. Sorry about the anonymous link to a children's story on Romans, and the other readings. the keyboard was stuck, and I have now only got it working.

    time for lunch here.

  98. 100 YEAH!!

    hope the rest of you are asleep.

  99. sem fem, the sports bar sounds great for me tomorrow night, perfect let down AFTER worship!

    yeah! for 100.

    chilly fingers, the congregational growth and development DMin sounds very intriguing and very much current.

    it is very cool as well that a foundation is paying for it.

    I am saying that what I wrote is "good enough" so I have many things left undone: finances, knitting, cleaning, and things for church too.

    still a lot of loose ends in our holistic stewardship theme for fall.

    I knew this already, and figured it out more after reading songbird's review of "Not Your Parents' Offering Plate." gotta read that one.

  100. Holy cow. 102 and I'm just now checking in. Not preaching tomorrow since the music director is leading worship planned based on her experience in Iona a few weeks ago. Perfect for opening weekend of college football, my LEAST favorite preaching season.

  101. Glad y'all are hanging in. Had to do a quick run to video store. My Sunday School lesson included showing a clip from 13 Going on 30. WHICH< I did not have...and had to go find. Ended up buying it, as they had none for rental.
    It is cute movie and so not a bad buy.
    So, I am off to bed soon and with hopes of some solid sleep tonight. Busy day tomorrow.
    Looks like heavy rain headed our way too. Hope everyone stays safe and dry/
    Blessings on all who preach God's Word.

  102. Okay, I have a sermon with an ending, finally...but it's WAY TOO LONG. 1538 words! What can I possibly cut?

    I am still bummed I missed the game, but we are not doing too well.

    Glad everyone else out there seems to be wrapping it up!

  103. Just got back from Bismark and got the car unloaded. We got a later start than I wanted - I had a hosptial visit 30 miles away in the opposite direction. But my wonderful dh drove and I edited my sermon on the drive down and back (incurring only a minimum of motions sickness!)

    Thanks for all the encouragement. I was beginning to think something was wrong with me for being so tired already. It's good to know that I am experiencing a fairly normal adjustment fatigue.

    The trip away was good and it was fun to spend some time with my guys. And I found a really cute pair of boots for fall1 All in all a worthwile trip.

    Now to do a final read-through and edit before printing. I'm way too tired to post to my blog tonight, so if you want to read "Putting on Jesus," I'll have the link posted here tomorrow when I come back to read everyone else's sermons.

    Nite all!

  104. Okay everyone, I have cut the sermon down to 1447 words and that will have to be good enough. Just going to print and then head home for some precious sleep.

    Blessings on all pondering, preaching and proclamation!

  105. I'm done enough too, with it as clear in my head as it's going to be.

    Blessings on all

  106. Well, it's done, and I expect y'all can hear it barking big red barks from where you are -- just hope it doesn't keep any of you awake, as it will put one and all to sleep tomorrow. I'm staking my hopes on the children's talk!

  107. *Yawn.* Good morning, gals.

    For some reason I thought it would be a good idea to go to sleep last night and wake up early to finish prepping for the day. But I'm having trouble wiping sleep from my eyes.

    Worship should be okay... it's enough in order that I can wing the rest... but this afternoon I'm doing my very first funeral, and that has gotten me really nervous.

    And meanwhile I have the Sunday-nausea that makes it impossible to drink caffeine or do anything else that will help me wake up enough to get my ducks [homilies] in a row...

  108. praying for all of you preaching this a.m., and especially for peregrinaje, that the Spirit hovers over you, and lives in your words.

    get out there and walk those dogs!

  109. Thanks be to God, our other organist was neither booked elsewhere nor away for the holiday, so we will have music this morning. I am relieved and grateful.
    Blessings to all of you this day.

  110. Good morning pals,

    Looks like the party really rocked last night into the wee hours.

    Time to get ready for church. Last Sunday of early worship time then it's back to 10:00 am next week.

    Prayers to all preachers, teachers and pew cheer leaders.

  111. Too late to do it this week, but perhaps next week I'll take the dog for a walk before church... I think we would both like that!

    I've gone over the funeral liturgy enough times that I feel confident in it. The homily will be very short --- but we're having a second service for the same woman next Saturday, so I guess I shouldn't use all my good material today :-)

    Blessings to all of you as you approach the day...


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