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Saturday, October 29, 2011

11th Hour Preacher Party: Have You Seen My Fringe? Edition

Hello, Preachers!

Have you seen my fringe?

It is long, and it is pretty.

It is shiny, and it is nicer than yours.

I would love to invite you to sit at the Preacher Party table, but I'm not sure there's room due to the immense gloriosity of all my fringes.

But if you would like to work on your sermon, I think there might be some space at the other end of the banquet table.

Okay, not really. There's room for all of us at the RevGalBlogPals table. But this week's gospel lesson certainly asks us to consider what form our fringe takes today. What are your thoughts? How do you make this lesson one for the children? Or are you headed to another selection in the lectionary? There are great thoughts about Reformation Sunday over at our Lectionary Leanings post. Join the conversation in the comments. Whatever else befalls, we will finish our sermons!


  1. I am doing two sermons for tomorrow, one kid-friendly and the other more for adults.

    With the kids, I am going to do a bit of play-acting with our music director, with one of us doing the other's work while the non-working one is clearly goofing off. Rather than be the slackers, we are called to serve others, even when we would rather play! Or something like that.

    For the other two services, I think I will be looking at the flip side of that, when we let others give us burdens that are not appropriately ours; rather than being servants, we allow ourselves to be doormats. I think women, especially, are prone to carrying guilt and embarrassment for actions that aren't even ours. How do we discern the difference between serving and being walked over? How was Jesus a servant, not a victim? Obviously, I have a long way to go before this looks like a sermon! I would welcome any thoughts on the subject, as this is currently one of those ideas in search of a sermon...

    I have a fabulous, decadent dessert in the freezer, made from ice cream sandwiches, cool whip, chocolate chips, and chocolate sauce; if you, like me, believe that eating dessert first has its place, help yourself :-)

  2. Good morning! I am at a hotel, attending our diocesan convention. I had a presentation, yesterday, on the WordsMatter Expansive Language Project - preparing for and offering that workshop was my heavy lifting for the week!

    Considering I won't get home until tonight, I wrote my sermon on Thursday and had the luxury of tweeking it, now I think it is ready to go! Or, at least it is as ready as its going to be.

    I am back on lectionary, after five weeks of Season of Creation. After eleven years of preaching this is the first time I have strayed from the lectionary for more than one Sunday. It was an interesting exercise...and I'm curious to learn if the congregation has any opinion on using that series?

    Anyway, I am preaching on Joshua - connecting it to Terry Tempest Williams' book, Finding Beauty in a Broken World - looking at the idea of mosiacs...and also talking a bit about the PBS series Women, War, and Peace. I'll try to get it on my blog before I head off to the convention.

    For now, I am enjoying room service breakfast - coffee and scrambled egge - need the protein!

  3. Hi pals,

    I am going off lectionary. Tomorrow is my last Sunday as interim pastor at the church that I have been serving. Lots of mixed emotions here, it has been a challenging interim and I am relieved that my work there is done. I wish them well as they journey forward with their new settled pastor and I will miss them deeply.

    As far as my future goes, I am uncertain of what’s next. However I have faith that God has good plans for me.

    There is a snow storm brewing on the East Coast. Aaakkkk. I hope we will be able to have church tomorrow. East coast pals, are you having church tomorrow. Please advise.

  4. God_Gurl, prayers for you.

    Betsy, that dessert sounds fab - and I like your sermon ideas!

    Mine is up on the blog: Too Small for Anything But Love

    Now, off to dio convention, with the hope that I will be home in 11 hours.

    Happy Partying, all!

  5. hahaha. I'm not preaching on the fringe, or on Reformation Sunday. I'm not preaching. Interim pastor has decided to preach a lot this fall. so, I'm letting him.

    I have a funeral this morning, though.

    Call process for new senior still moving along, but slowly.

  6. I'm up! I'm up! Your hostess is here. I've been wrangling a big dog with a busted knee. He doesn't want to come back into the house, and I can't coax or force him. Thank goodness we have a fenced back yard. A church member who is also a handyman is coming over this morning to fashion a ramp, which I hope the dog will deign to use.
    Meanwhile, we're facing the same weather G_G mentioned, and every time I hear the forecast it sounds a little worse. Will we cancel worship in *October?* What about the crowd favorite Pumpkin Carving and Potluck scheduled for Sunday at 5? It's all about the timing, and it's probably too soon to know about that.
    I leave first thing Monday for a study week, and I will be glad to leave this past week behind (major church event--not the Pumpkin carving, dog in animal ER, and I had oral surgery on Tuesday) and be in other surroundings, having tucked the dog safely away at the kennel, which is one place I *will* get to tomorrow regardless of the weather.

  7. Betsy, sounds delicious!
    Terri, so glad you got to share your presentation, it sounds wonderful.
    G_G, probably the most important thing is what the neighboring churches are doing. We're always watching to see what the next UCC church down the road does.
    Diane, I hope that hahaha is for the fringe. ;-)

  8. I am off lectionary this week too as it is "Shoebox Sunday". The congregation has been making up the shoeboxes and filling them with goodies and this week they get sent off to be distributed. I am using the loaves and fishes story and a popcorn machine - talking about how a little can become more (and hopefully the popcorn will keep the little ones quiet during the short drama I have arranged for others to do). My talk is all in my head and others are doing quite a lot of the service. Only prayers to prepare really. A Very strange feeling on a saturday!

  9. Where has Cafe Bustelo been all my life? Yum! I am mostly done with my sermon and am now working on another 'sermonette' that I am giving at our stewardship breakfast tomorrow. Once I finish that, I am hoping to finish a paper that is due soon. So, it's a lot of writing for me today...think I might turn on the gas logs and sit by the fire...won't you join me?

  10. Whew! A Sunday without preaching a sermon for me. The youth organisations are sharing their mission trip. I'm just contributing some nonsense, in the form of a water relay race at the beginning of the service - the theme - Whatever you do for the least of these...
    Having a lovely lazy Saturday but I had 4 funeral services this week, so needing the rest. Tanya - enjoy quiet day - and engineer more!
    Terri - enjoy delivering your paper.
    SB - hope study week is what you need - woof out to Hoagie.
    Betsy - love the sound of that dessert - will go well with the eggs and smoked salmon I'm preparing for lunch.
    Diane, glad you're letting someone else preach.
    GG look forward to hearing what God has planned next for you.
    Chilly fingers - lots of writing but you sound as though you're on top of it.
    Go revgals - rocking party already!

  11. I'm on the lectionary readings for All Saints - The Beatitudes and Rev 7: 9-end. Covering at a local church first then my usual. Any profound thoughts from past preaches on the Beatitudes?

  12. I went the Reformation route. A bit of teaching and a bit of proclaiming the God-news.

    I try to be a Thursday writer...and it actually happened this week. I'll post a bit later after re-reading and tweaking.

  13. Good morning preachers!

    My sermon on Matthew is done, and it is also the featured sermon at this week if you want to check it out. Those of you who don't know me on FB or otherwise will see my "real" name and that's ok, but I'll stay RDM here for now.

    We too have snow forecast for later today. Craziness--I still have green leaves on some of the trees in my yard. I won't cancel church b/c I only have to walk across the lawn to get there, but I am sure that even the threat of snow will keep many away. I have batteries and electrical devices charging all over the house in preparation for the power outage that is predicted along with the snowstorm. After losing power for four days in August, I dread loss of power far more that the idea of snow!

    Now I'm trying to get all the laundry done ahead of the storm and potential power loss too. Happy sermonating everyone!

  14. Am struggling to wake up after watching our disappointment in the World Series. Well, 'next year in Jerusalem--er ah, Arlington!

    I am not preaching but Ihave the lectionary study between services. In a tradition that calls their priests "Father" I have a hard time with the Gospel--it is part of the reason I really don't like the title "Mother" and use Muthah+ as a smartaleky way to mess with people who need titles for their clergy.

    When I was being a LuthEpisk, I really liked 'Pastor' but what I hate is the loss of personhood with titles. It often is used to compartmentalize clergy and even folks' faith.

    It has been interesting being back in my hometown and ministering to some of my old highschool classmates. They know me from my childhood--I wasn't a stand out then and I don't have to be now. It makes ministry cleaner somehow.

    Well, I have granola and greek yogurt but only k cups and creamora and 2 sick cats. One with one of those cones around her head. It is going to be an interesting weekend.

    Prayers G-G and Songbird.

  15. Also prayers for first snow folks. It IS a bit early--that does not bode well. Since we have had our first long-sleeve days this week after a horrendous summer, I salute you and hope that the 'crazy' weather doesn't last as long as ours did this summer.

  16. Tomorrow is ordination day for me!

    In the morning, I am preaching to my new congregation about how we are are called to serve, about the significance of denominational connection (to a congregation that doesn't see much of any significance in it at all), and about my own journey toward tomorrow afternoon. A blend of the gospel passage, Reformation Sunday, and the WATW, the latter being the theme passage for the ordination service. Many of my older congregation will not make the 1.5 hour trip into the city for the ordination itself, so I'm trying to give them a whiff of it.

    Then I'll hope into the car with RevGal Michelle of Quantum Theology, who is coming to hear me preach and then to be the contemplative photographer for the afternoon service, and we'll drive back to my home church.

    My home church's brilliant and creative music director is at the bedside of her dying father, so after weeks of hard work and preparation on her part, we will probably have a substitute organist. I am still waiting for my breast cancer surgery to be scheduled, presumably on November 18. And a few minutes ago, as I sat at the kitchen table typing and my husband showered upstairs,it became apparent that water is leaking from the shower through the kitchen ceiling - drip drip, drip - just in time for company to arrive.

    I am being reminded of my wedding day 37 years ago -- a beautiful outdoor wedding for 300 guests (small town; everyone comes) hastily moved into a completely unprepared Methodist church as a consequence of torrential rains and a tornado.

    I should never, ever, ever plan any major events.

  17. After a service-planning-sermon-writing marathon yesterday, I have both services and sermons done for the 2 funerals today and the service and sermon for tomorrow in useable form. I may tweak it later, but any time I have this evening will be dedicated to getting tomorrow afternoon's confirmation ready.

    Still, I am prepared, something I seriously doubted Thursday afternoon when I still hadn't met with one of the funeral families.

    No snow here in South Dakota yet, even though I am told that we could have some by now. The need for appropriate SD preaching shoes and professional snow boots (I doubt my white 'moon' boots would work at a funeral!) has past the important stage and become urgent!

    Blessings as you-all write! I hope to be back this evening to read your offerings.

  18. Don't hate me, but I have a completely surprise but very welcome four week break from preaching (this is week two).

    We are in the midst of our Stewardship Campaign, for which the committee decided they would like to have four different preachers (I was the first, on the 16th). That takes me through the 6th; the following weekend I'll be at my daughter's Parents Weekend (in the land of the White Squirrel, i.e., Oberlin). Then I preach again on Reign of Christ/ Christ the King/ Thanksgiving Sunday.

    This year, what with fathers and daughters and floods and all, this preaching-loving pastor is gratefully accepting all this time away from preaching.

    But I LOVE Songbird's invite, so here I am-- apples, yogurt, granola, and iced tea (though a snowstorm threatens this afternoon's wedding).

  19. Friends, I literally leaned against the refrigerator and prayed, "Dear Baby Jesus, please make the dog come into the house." And he did. The dog, that is. Still waiting for ramp guy to stop by, but if he doesn't come, at least I know Hoagie is *able* to walk up the steps, whether he wants to do it or not.
    We're making backstage contingency plans for tomorrow, which of course end up having an impact on the following week, too. Whether we worship or not, a small crowd due to snow compromises Sunday School prep for the following week's intergenerational service and also the sending out of 11 congregants to give away $111 each to folks in need in the next 11 days, as a tie-in to the UCC's Mission 1.1.11-11.11.11 project.
    I'm also mildly concerned about whether my residential street (dead-end) will be plowed in time to get me out of here. Once again I'm wishing I had something other than a Dog Mama station wagon, a frequent thought last winter.
    Meanwhile, coffee. Who wants some? It's Starbucks Caffe Verona.

  20. Trying to roll myself out of bed to join the family. I'm doing a mix of All Saints and stewardship. It was supposed to be my focus on stewardship of talents which went great with All Saints, but since I missed last week's stewardship of time and next week's stewardship of treasure is on the same day as a baptism (lots of visitors), I decided to just do it all at once this week. I'm using the All Saints Revelation text and 1 Cor many gifts one spirit.

    To update from last week, my baby did break her femur and is in a hip spica cast which means it goes down to her ankles and up to her mid chest. She is as happy as can be, doesn't care one bit. I'm sort of run down from middle of the night diaper changes; we can't risk it getting wet next to her skin so have to change her every 2 hours during the day and every 4 hours at night.

    Apparently I got run down enough to compromise my immune system. I was diagnosed with strep throat yesterday. For real. Can't miss tomorrow. Two weeks in a row would not be good. I won't be contagious, so I'm hoping the antibiotics kick in soon and get me feeling better.

    I'll be around later. I've got a pretty good idea of what I'm going to do. Going to relate the many gifts (including those shared by all saints) to pointillism art. I've been working on art education in my daughter's classroom so I'll use that as my "way in". After that I found an awesome artist with YouTube and Google, Karen Morgan, whose twist on pointillism is beautiful and perfect. I'm going to try to use a clip of her video. The way she talks about forming individual balls of clay the se then paints is practically divine.

    OK too long. Time to go join the family and find some medicine.

  21. I got back from clergy conference and DuBose Lectures last night. So today is a scramble to see a few people and to get something in my head for a sermon. Barbara Brown Taylor was wonderful at DuBose, preaching about darkness and our attempts to blot it out of our lives. The video ought to be up at the Sewanee ( site soon but isn't there yet. I didn't knit and listen as the listening was the full-body type.
    Okay, errands to run, computers to get fixed. Argh!

  22. Prayers for all of you who are finding writing sermons troublesome.

    Stephanie, go easy, sistah.

  23. As I read through the comments I send a prayer for each of celebration, in healing, in time away, in preaching or not, in all you have said.

    I posted Un-Necessary Questions. If you scroll through to the end I also included a litany of the church reformed and reforming.

  24. Goilg off the lectionary grid this week. We're celebrating Dia de los Muertos so I'm using the propers for All Souls. Never done those before. Should be an interesting day. May try to play with doing two sermons at once --next week the rector has asked that all services (including our bicultural afternoon service) do All Saints. All this is a little backwards but I'm hoping it will work.

    Songbird, glad the dog came in!

  25. Consulting with church leaders about the snow storm. May have to delay my leave taking service until next week. Oh poop.

  26. But then again I am doing such a good job procrastinating what's another week. I put my garden to bed this morning. Put all of my gardening tools away. Caught an episode of Golden Girls and I helped my mother-in-law fix her answering machine from half way across the United States.

  27. Well hello there, friends! I haven't partied the last couple of weeks and am late dropping by now because I have been in total avoidance mode. I don't know what my problem is this week, but I don't want to deal with this sermon. I'm preaching Matthew and will be revamping a sustainable sermon from several years ago.

    I feel like tomorrow is totally overloaded, as on top of my usual duties (worship, Church School, youth group), I am also throwing a Halloween party for our college students. This seemed like a Good Idea when I first came up with it, but now it is feeling like a huge ordeal, especially to be doing it the night before Halloween when I have young kids (i.e., kids who need things like cupcakes for the class party the next day, etc.).

    Anyway. It's ridiculous that I'm complaining about such abundance. I have a job where I get to preach the gospel, love people, and throw parties!

    Robin: thinking of you on this big weekend!!

    Stephanie: so sorry about the strep throat. I had that earlier this year and I can't remember the last time I felt so awful. I hope the meds kick in soon!

    The rest of you: I have cinnamon sugar doughnuts from a local cider mill and honey crisp apple cider to share. Enjoy!

  28. As I munch on one of Earthchick's doughnuts, I am sending up prayers for so many of you; it has been a hard week around here and the challenges are not yet past. God's grace to all of you!

    I just downloaded the iOS update for my iPad so of course I need to familiarize myself with that; guess the sermons will have to wait a bit...

  29. Betsy, it took my invalid 17 month old to show me everything the new iOS could do. I guess I could have read about it, but using the baby was easier.

  30. It's snowing steadily here even though it wasn't suposed to start snowing until late this afternoon. Not sticking yet....we'll see.

    My throat is a bit scratchy, so I'm consuming airborne today in hopes of warding off whatever is brewing in the cold department!

    Robin, congratulations on your ordination!! So exciting! And prayers for your upcoming surgery.

    She Rev, wow. I'm glad the little one is adjusting to the cast, but what a drain on you!

    Prayers for everyone who is struggling/procrastinating, and/or dealing with weather!

  31. Perhaps I should enlist the help of the cat who keeps walking across my chest! My teenagers would no doubt be useful too... Way to much fun to play with!

  32. You would think that revamping a sustainable sermon would make for quicker work, but I still have no words on the page. ARGH.

  33. $107 later, I have a ramp, and a dog who won't walk on it, despite the ($13.95 for a bag) delicious beef tripe halfway up the incline.

  34. SB, have you tried covering the ramp with an old piece of carpet firmly attached so the footing is solid?

  35. Purple, we used tar paper, otherwise known as Roof Roll. In further hilarious news, the little salmon treats got him up the front steps into the house. He then proceeded directly to the back door and asked to go out. Great, I thought, maybe he'll go DOWN the ramp. But no, before I could encourage him toward the delicious treat mid-ramp...he went down the stairs. He is now standing happily beside the ramp, trying to figure out how to get the beef tripe without putting a paw on the ramp.

  36. My sermons are going nowhere, absolutely nowhere. I have about 4 hours to write and I not only do I have nothing, I am not trying very hard to have anything. These are the times when I resent preaching!

  37. Betsy! I'm right there with you!! I'm getting ready to go on a run to see if it can get my brain in gear. And to see if I can run off some of these doughnuts! Y'all better come get the rest!

  38. I am attempting to get into the sermon thing today.
    I'm going for Reformation Sunday, and I want to emphasize that we must change, not for the sake of change, but because we are a living body...and a living body is constantly growing. Once you stop growing, you die.
    Or something like that.
    I'll check back in later when I have something more concrete, or when I'm looking for a distraction!

  39. well Songbird at least the dog is being self-entertained!

    me? i have a wedding soon this afternoon and guess who's singing kids? an elvis impersonator. seriously. with sideburns to prove it. at least the fancy bedazzled jumpsuit is not making an appearance.

  40. Yes, the *dog* is perfectly happy!
    Meanwhile, my 16yo had her ears pierced five weeks ago, and one of them seems to be infected, so we are going to the Urgent Care, because we need to do all important things before the snow flies. A forecast of 3-5" this morning is now a forecast of 6-10". Church is looking less and less likely, especially since I live 15 miles away.
    I'll check in later!

  41. SB, while I am sure it is not amusing you, your dog tales are pretty funny for those of us on the sidelines! I hope the dog and the ear all get sorted out before the snow lands.

  42. Preaching in two hours here - for regulars and deanery folks from our neck of teh diocese, so feeling a bit more pressure, but still no clear sermon.
    Robin - lots of prayers
    GG - lymi
    SB - Hoagie is making me lugh at him and pray for you
    She Rev - prayers for you - I got strep twice a year every year in seminary - felt like I got hit by a truck every single time
    Betsy - LOL - maybe a sermon comes as an app?
    Oh,btw, my new sermon boy is Hugh

  43. It's official, service is cancelled and we are going to do the whole leave taking thing next weekend.

    I'm relieved and a bit frustrated at the weather at the same time. I've been spending all week emotionally preparing myself for saying goodbye tomorrow. However I am thrilled that my last service will be a communion Sunday and all saints day.

  44. Elastigirl - we need to hear more about Hugh!!!
    SB, thanks for providing the possibly unintentional humour in the Hoagie tales. x

  45. This comment has been removed by the author.

  46. A sermon app! That's what I need. Surely the geniuses at Apple can come up with a way to personalize it so it, too, if they can keep track of so much else about me.

    The iPad is actually going to be used as a prop in one of tomorrow's sermons. I guess that justifies all the time I have spent playing with it today, right?

    I do have about 40% of the other sermon. If I would simply settle down and write, rather than goof off, I am sure I'd have more. At least I did finally find some sort of direction, though it seems rather useless at the moment.

    G_G, I am sorry you have to cope with a week of delay, though the All Saints' tie in will be perfect.


  47. Elastigirl please don't say Hefner.

  48. God_Guurrill, Sorry about the snow-delayed farewell. I would love a snow storm right now. Not likely to happen in the desert.

    Betsy, 40% sounds darn good to me. I'm still in the procrastinating stage. Time to get down to work.

    Dia de los Muertos is, in a way, its own sermon. Need a few words to tie the occasion to the non-Hispanic music we'll be singing (Lord of the Dance and We are Dancing in the Light of God) and to the communion table. Why is it always so hard just before I start?

    Two more weeks and then a week-end off! Yay!

  49. SB - sorry to be LOLing but your dog 'tale' is all too easy to see.
    Sounds like lots of offerings here or about to be here to read and lots of prayers needed as usual.
    I'm preaching All Saints and the 'community' that we and they are all part of. It's short and here since I have one person speaking on an 'official' saint and another on Alexander Mack, the 1st minister in the CoB.
    I'm inviting people to clip up pictures of their 'saints' all around the sanctuary on the yarn I plan to string up early tomorrow. So we will literally be "surrounded" by the Cloud of Witnesses.
    It is snowing like crazy here in VA but shouldn't amount to anything serious..
    my best to all.

  50. It's okay. Better to laugh than cry.
    Sorry to be such a distracted hostess today. We have pre-Halloween candy if you need a late afternoon pick-me-up. The good news for me is that since I had oral surgery on Tuesday (yes, this has been quite a week), I had already planned to adapt a sustainable, and it's ready to preach if we end up having church in the morning. In fact, I would email it to a lay person if they needed a sermon to read in my place. Well, maybe not this one. Darn. We'll see how things go.
    The ear is infected, and we came home with antibiotic gel, and a prescription for oral antibiotics if it doesn't improve in 48 hours. The earring is out (and broken), and the girl is sad though relieved.

  51. Jackman actually.

  52. I was thinking of putting up my Beatitudes Keynote presentation, but I wasn't able to stick in the photo credits. (Getting used to using Keynote on my iPad.) So having them and showing to congregation seems different than posting.'d like it...

  53. unbelievably, I am just checking in after a busy day, then feeling sniffy and sneezy, so took a nap that turned into a three hour snooze. Haven't written a word, and in my case, we never cancel church. However, Boston isn't supposed to get hit like Maine and NH.

    I love reading all of your comments.

    My sermon title is "Humble Pie", but my plan is to twist it. In my current call, people come to church to be fed, to be welcomed, to welcome others, to experience God and worship God. They don't attend out of obligation or for looks, but out of need, out of seeking.... to think, pray, and write.

    I have hot tazo mint tea to share....

  54. It has been snowing ALL DAY and is supposed to continue through the night ....about 5 inches so far, wet and heavy. There is no real way to cancel church tomorrow, so I'll be there, but I'm sure there won't be many others.

    I've been totally lazy today--met with a family about a baptism next Sunday, did some laundry and watched junky TV on my laptop.

    This weather is NUTS!

  55. I have to make some kind of recommendation about whether to cancel or not tomorrow, and this is where it becomes obvious that a pastor with a truck who lived in the same rural-ish area was a better fit than a city girl who lives on a side street and drives a station wagon. Ugh. I don't want to wimp out, and it sounds like it will settle down by sunrise, but our service is at 9:30, so that doesn't leave a lot of time to get there. Well, it will be an adventure, right?

  56. Hi there,
    I am a rare poster but often lurker, and I am a bit stumped. I preach Sat night and did tonight's, and it was a bomb. Ugh. I mean, okay, it was fine and all but it wasn' t IT, KWIM? Betsy, what are you doing with your iPad? I had grand designs of comparing Steve Jobs with Martin Luther and talking about God's call of creativity in sharing the ancient message of grace. Doesn't that sound good? But it wasn't. :( Anyway, prayers to those of you with SNOW. I am in the deep South so it is a bit chilly here, but nothing like y'all. Stay safe, revs. Peace,

  57. Chickpastor, isn't it possible it will turn out to be exactly the right sermon in the morning?
    We're going to wait until early tomorrow to make a call on canceling church. They'll manage without me if I can't get there, but the part I don't like is I probably have to get out on the road whether or not it seems like a wise idea, and I don't like that.

  58. Ten hours later and I'm finally back after two funerals. One was 40 miles away with the burial site another 30 miles. I'm fried, my brain is mush and I still have to review the sermon for tomorrow and get ready for confirmation class.

    Oh- and I have developed a nagging cough courtesy of a post-nasal drip that won't go away despite allergy meds, flonase, and a neti pot. If anyone has any suggestions, I'm all ears! I think it will be a spoken liturgy tomorrow, singing just triggers the cough.

    If ever I needed a snow day....

  59. Sorry for all the snow excitement. I'm relatively close to Muthah+, and we also are wearing long sleeves for the first time this season.

    Ramona, bless you. TWO funerals on a Saturday? Get some rest tonight--that's just too much for anyone.

    Stephanie, stay away from hospitals! They're germy places. Glad your little one is adapting easily.

    We've had a busy week, then a two-day Presbytery meeting with lots of intense debate and opinions. Need to cook something for a potluck tomorrow, cookies for preschool on Monday, a Halloween deal tomorrow and trick-or-treating on Monday. Then we're all four leaving town on Tuesday for a conference. I'm really excited about the conference (it's for clergy couples AND it has free childcare) but less so about all that has to happen between now and then.

    Chief among that being a sermon. I'm preaching on the Joshua passage (crossing the Jordan into the promised land), which seems just right for this congregation who is searching for a new pastor, needs to come together PDQ.

  60. RevDrMom - found your sermon, and let me just say: AMEN Sistah! Thank you for sharing it.

    I've read a few others, all well done. Have some problems leaving comments...or, maybe I am just too tired after dio convention...especially knowing that I still have a full day tomorrow. sigh.

    I continue to ponder my sermon, particularly the end. Not sure it works, but not sure I have it in me to figure something else out...

  61. Would they notice if I just have half a sermon? The first half?

  62. GAH. I am so sick of this sermon. I've been fiddling with trying to find an ending for about the last two hours. UGH.

    esperanza, I'm with you - would they notice if I simply didn't have an ending? ;)

  63. Well, as Martha knows, sometimes all it takes for me to finally wrap things up is to come complain and vent over here about how I can't find my ending - and then it happens. And so it did.

    Wish I'd thought to come complain a couple of hours earlier!

    Ah, well. On to Sunday School lesson, youth group planning, and campus ministry party planning. Never a dull moment!

  64. Esperanza, dang! I hate it when that happens. I hope the sermon suddenly comes to you!

  65. well, whining about it hasn't worked yet. Perhaps having the sermon itself on my screen would help?

    Sigh. Being tired makes this way harder.

  66. Yay! Earthchick (lol, my iPad auto correct wants to change to earth hick)...( gotta watch this thing carefully)...

  67. Hello everyone, quite a party going on here! I'm checking in late after a relaxed first part of the day with SO, and then a fun but almost-too-active church party trying to recapture my sermon mojo and pick up where I was earlier, during the "thinking and pondering" phase of sermon writing.

    So much going on out is interesting to see all that people are up to. I'm going with the texts for Reformation (probably focusing on John) and we also have First Communion for seven young people. Plus it is a new time and format for worship and I am hoping and praying it will go well...some discouraging things have happened lately and I would be really relieved if this wasn't one of them.

    Prayers of joy for Robin, encouragement for Songbird, healing for SheRev...and of course many others as well. No snow here yet--we are right on the edge of the storm so I am hoping we will dodge this one.

  68. stoopid cable connection. Lost my original post completely!

    Glad to see some late night partiers. I was here earlier but had a to-do list that just got finished.

    I am on Matthew, and pondering that. Think I have a direction, but gotta flesh it out. Could be a late night.

    I have left over corkscrew pasta with spinach, sun dried tomatoes, garlic onions,peppers; salad and french bread for those who get late night munchies. And Tootsie Rolls.

    Prayers ascending for all of you!

  69. Ready to really get going after a long EMPTY day. I can't remember the last time I said that about a Saturday. My antibiotic really seemed to do their job around noon, so I've been feeling pretty good and very lazy. I'm still in my jammies from last night. I guess it's time to go change into fresh ones.

    I was thinking about writing this one out since two weeks ago seemed like such a blah to me, but I really don't want to break this no manuscript run because I'm scared of one bad one. I knew they wouldn't all be home runs when I decided to try this for a while. I need to stick with it a while even with bad ones.

    Anyway, off to the other room to get this one more prepared than it is in my head. Pointillism, stewardship, All Saints. It. Fits together. I swear.

  70. Stephanie, you are amazing. All the best as you prepare for tomorrow! I'm glad the little one is doing well, but how exhausting to be doing those diapers around the clock!!!
    earthchick, I am your sister in that department, it's true.
    Since my sermon is mostly a repeat, I won't blog it this time. Blessings to all of you in the writing and the preaching.
    Good night!

  71. OK, ending appeared. When in doubt, go back to the title! Right? I hope so.

    Prayers, gathering my stuff together, and hopefully better sleep than last night (I'm looking at you, molar teething).

  72. Ok - I think I have a sermon with an ending - well maybe the ending stil needs work. And maybe the HS will give me a better ending while I sleep, or in the shower in the moring, or in the pulpit...

    Anyway, it's here. My apologies and sincere thanks to David Lose for giving me a sermon outline! Comments appreciated if anyone has the energy.

  73. I've quite apologizing to David Lose for those outlines and have just been sticking with thanks. They're there for a reason, right?

    Really, to work, I swear.

  74. OK, sisters. I'm calling it quits. So far only one wake-up from the teething toddler. It's early yet, but we're ahead of last night. Blessings to all of y'all.

  75. No, No I can't be the only one left!

    I'm toying with the idea of trying to tie Matthew with the
    Barna survey about reason young adult churched as teens have fallen away, as many of them fall into the categories Matthew describes. Hope it flies in my small rural churches!

  76. Good night all. The snow is coming down fast and furious. Be safe.

  77. You're not alone. I'm still here although I'm pretending not to be. Anytime I wonder if it's going to fly I feel more supported in my impulse to say it (admittedly while also still worried).

  78. Don't worry, I'm still here too and I have managed to put off even writing the first sentence. Which is easy because it's the same prayer I use every time I preach.

    I have fun-size Twix for all the late nighters who might desire some early Halloween candy...this is a bag I bought especially for me so I wouldn't eat the rest of the candy.

    She Rev, I do think your outline sounds fab.

  79. I'm back, and there are a few leftovers from that fabulous ice cream sandwich dessert if anyone wants a late night treat!

    I have 2/3rds of one sermon, now in search of an ending; it is at that point where I think I have gone in circles and said nothing.

    Chickpastor, I fear my iPad use would not be of much help. For our family service (=50% kids under 7), I'm going to start out preaching from the iPad. The musician will interrupt to ask me about it, and then repeatedly ask me to do stuff for him (carrying some instruments and binders to the back of the church) while he has fun playing with it. Eventually I will ask the folks what's wrong with this picture...Jesus, in telling us to be servants, didn't mean for us to be either of those roles (doormat worker or one counting on others to serve), but all to serve each other. Etc. So the iPad is quite tangential.

  80. Oh dear me. Why can't I just stay focused? I am 99% sure the whole thing is here in my head, but I just feel like I need to go through it outloud or on paper in an outline to make sure. I just keep getting distracted in the process. I'm considering a late night shower since in the morning it usually comes together there anyway. Not a bad idea....

  81. Fall Festival was a success and the cake walk was wildly popular with 29 cakes, brownies, cupcakes, etc.
    Many of the kids had not heard of a cake walk, but caught on fast enough once they learned it was a game to win one of the cakes.
    I wish I had made pictures of the many ones we had.
    Sweet potato pound cake with orange glaze????
    ANyhow, I am way too tired to preach in the AM, but I must do it.
    I must!
    At least I have a double OT ballgame to keep me company

  82. Almost. there. Must. concentrate.

    A cake walk sounds like much more fun than this!

  83. Kenan Thompson is cracking me up with his expressions. He msut practice in front of the mirror

  84. I am so all over the place tonight. I think I have too much caffine, sugar and chocolate in me.
    Can we say ping pong ball?

  85. Done! Got the sermon thoughts all together. I'll run through it outloud in the shower tomorrow, but I think it's good to go. I'm going to watch my adult Sunday School DVD now, too, since one of us has to change the baby in the next 30 minutes or so anyway. Even if my husband takes his turn it'll wake me up at this stage in the game. Might as well just do this and that myself then go to bed for the rest of the night/morning.

    Blessings on anyone still working!

  86. Done. Flat ending, but there it is. Prayers for all!

  87. A while ago, I finally put the baby in the car seat and took him for a ride so that he would actually fall asleep.
    Then I was finally able to work on my sermon.
    Here it is.
    Now, I, and the baby and the dog, are headed off to la la land.
    Good night, y'all!

  88. A little jelosu of those who are done, but I have been the queen of procrastination...except for balancing my check book and then cleaning out the litter box off of the bathroom. It is their "favorite" and is messy.
    Got to do that and then I can hit the hay

  89. Did I mention that my sermon is exactly 1300 words?
    How perfect for Halloween.

  90. Ack!!!

    1-4, I hope you were able to get to sleep.

    I'm awake checking the weather report and more importantly the power outage listings. My section of Portland has power, but most of the town I serve seems to be out, including the church. This may make it an easier call in the morning. I'll be back to let you know in a few hours.

    Meanwhile, praying for all those affected by the storm, all over the northeast.

  91. Just finishing up here...once again I procrastinated until I fell asleep, then woke up with just enough time to pull something together. It's time to jump in the shower as soon as I put the finishing touches on this bad boy.

    I echo Songbird's prayers for those without power and otherwise affected by the storm.

    And boy, am I looking forward to that afternoon nap. My Sunday afternoons have been consumed for the last two months, so no holy naps until today.

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

  92. Those without power include my church and most of my congregation, so we did make the decision to cancel this morning's service. I'm not sure how people will get the message, but hope they'll agree it made sense. Wind still blowing, trees heavy with wet snow and other wintry mix ickiness, but we still have power at home. I'm thinking coffee cake, if I find I have all the ingredients on hand. Want a slice?


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