Good morning, preachers!!

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

What’s happening in your world?

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

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

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

112 thoughts on “11th Hour Preacher Party: Spring Fling Edition

  1. An apple-bran muffin to go with my coffee sounds lovely. But I really got a chuckle out of the encouragement, “we can do this!”I’m off later this morning to drop off recycling, meet a friend for lunch downtown, then help with some set-up for tomorrow’s progressive dinner. Sermon? What sermon?I’ll check in when I can.

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

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

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

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  5. preaching on “joy” as found in the psalm and v.11 of the gospel… this morning however is a funeral.for you coffee-types i highly recommend hershey’s chocolate caramel creamer… oh so yummy!

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  6. It’s not raining in this part of the South yet but it shows all the signs of getting down to it soon.Today, I have to figure out what I want to say to my adult Sunday school about my trip(s) to Italy without being able to project pictures on the walls – I’ll take the photo albums from the first two, I guess, as this year’s pics aren’t printed yet. Then I need to make swedish meatballs and pralines for tomorrow’s coffee hour as we are honoring the choir. There’s a sign to be made, too.And I could use some sermon help. I’m going with Acts and taking Jensen’s suggestion to heart. I’ll tell the whole story including next week’s reading and hope that people will understand what the lesson is for us today. I’ll poke them a little but I’m planning to leave the sharp stick at home. Sigh. Sometimes, it’s hard to be a liberal in a conservative parish.I’ve eaten too well the last two days so this morning was simply an instant breakfast and a walk with the dogs before it rains.

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  7. I’m tired… tired… tired of love… love… love. I couldn’t take another week… so while the sermon does talk about it a little bit… the primary thrust of the sermon is about friendship.I get the whole concept of Jesus being my friend… and the sermon asks… so how do we become Jesus friend. I’m mean it’s not like Jesus a shoulder to cry on. I’m not overly thrilled with the sermon… but I posted it here and comments and concerns are welcomed.

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

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  9. I wrote something about Jesus calling his disciples as friends three years ago (it’s referenced on Texts this Week if you know my real name)but as it wasn’t my turn to preach then, I didn’t use it in church, so I’m trying to work from it now; like others I’ve done “love” the last couple of weeks and need a change!But re the commandment to love: I talked about this in ref to a Matthew text once, but I think it applies here, too. Jesus in his summary of the law is trying to get at the very essence of what Levitical law is all about (all 613 of them) and he boils it down to love–love of God and love of other. So whatever we do that we do b/c God calls us to it is done out of love and with love. And now he promises that when we live in that love, joy will result. I guess that is a constant theme in my preaching.

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

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  11. I am on the Acts text for tomorrow and it is titled “Draw the Circle Wide”, which is a song by Gordon Light. I wish the pianist could play this and we would sing…but not a good option in this case.I am hoping to do creative storytelling with the Cornelius story to get the whole story of God’s radical inclusiness. Ending with reading “Old Turtle” by Douglas Woods. I have some watermelon to offer this morning as well.

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

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  13. Pancakes to offer. WG might even have a chocolate chip one left over. (I like mine traditional).I’m going graduation dress shopping with her later this morning. ::sniff::It is confirmation Sunday tomorrow, so the sermon can be a little shorter. I have an image from Anne Lamott’s latest book in mind, the Wailing Wall essay, where she does the ‘loved and chosen’ ritual. I might even just read from that essay as part of my sermon. It’s that good.Have any of y’all done that? Read from another writer in the midst of your sermon?

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  14. First long weekend of the summer here and so I am sitting watchng the snow swirl in the air…Sermon, she needs help. But for now we will focus on laundry, and a side trip to buy WebKinz clothes with the middle child as mom and the 2 sisters have driven to the city for the day

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  15. Cheesehead, yes, I’ve occasionally read from a writer/book in the middle of the sermon; when someone writes as well as Lamott and it’s on topic, I think it works just fine. Conveniently, it also means less for me to write 😉 So if you’ve found the perfect passage, go for it!Church work party this a.m.; kid errand stuff this afternoon, while my husband goes to a party at the bishop’s house for clergy spouses. The sermon is started and has part of an ending; just that little problem of all the middle to do. I’m also going with the idea of love as a command. That concept doesn’t make sense to us because we think of love as a feeling; Jesus, however, is talking about love as an action and an act of will, not particularly tied into how we are feeling.The cupboards are bare here; however, later in the day I think we’re going to try the homemade root beer my younger son created a few weeks ago. Stop by for the tasting!

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

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  17. Just made pancakes for the kids and me. Those or waffles have become a little tradition for us on days when my husband goes to the monthly ecumenical men’s breakfast at our church. Kinda fun. I have homemade (not by me, but by the previous homeowner) strawberry rhubarb jam to share. We were out of syrup to jelly and jam it was on our pancakes.I did a little more blogging about my sermon last night to try to get some more concrete ideas down. I got caught up in what looks like a complicated legal argument about love and friends. That will NOT be in the sermon, but I think I need to figure out my thoughts about it during naptime so I don’t get caught up in it when I do my real writing tonight.I think I’m going to start my sermon with the game where you try to come up with song titles with the word “love” in them. We’ll play it as a congregation. I love how that went on Tuesday in the Leanings!We’ll see. So, for now. I’ll think about getting myself and the kids dressed. My NEW 4 year old (birthday was on Tuesday) and I want to try out our Mother’s Day/Birthday present – – a geocaching GPS. It’s VERY windy here and pretty chilly so I don’t know how long we’ll last. At least there are two hidden at a park just up the stairs from our house. (We live at the base of a hill.)So strawberry rhubarb spread to share! It would be GREAT on a scone or muffin or something. Enjoy!

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

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  19. O Teri … praying you have lots of energy for today and tomorrow and then some good pj time at some point.Working on love as a verb in the gospel of john.See you later on, after i take care of some chores around the house.

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  20. Joan – – I preached the Psalms for Lent last year, and it is hard! The Sermon Brainwave podcast has a good treatment of the Psalm for preaching this Sunday. You can find that at http://www.workingpreacher.org. One thing that helped me was to try to imagine who might have written that psalm – what was the story that made him/her write it? What was happening that brought out those feelings? It brought out a different kind of sermon, maybe not all EXACTLY textual, but, in my case, I ended up using them to show how the psalms can guide out prayer and, therefore, the diversity of prayer.1-4 & Betsy – I liked that commanded question, too, and decided that YES, love Boston's "More Than a Feeling."(Although the word "love" never comes up in the song.)

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  21. I’d love an apple bran muffin, yum! Me? I’m off for another funeral…this makes the sixth funeral in five weeks….after the funeral I have to make two hospital visits, which means I’ll be gone until late this afternoon. OH, and those two hospital visits, because the folks are in ICU, mean two more funerals are probably just around the corner. Next weekend I do have a wedding – my first here! But then on Sunday I have another brief interment for someon into our columbarium…geezeMy sermon is in a draft…I’ll post it – but I won’t be able to get back to work on it until much later – SOOO comments, suggestions, will be greatly appreciated.Hope everyone else is having a lovely Spring day and that the writing goes well!

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  22. Good grief, MomPriest…that is a ridiculous number of funerals 😮 Blessings to you as you go about this ministry, and enjoy the change of pace the wedding brings.

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

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  24. hi friends – not really writing today as it’s supposed to my day off – I have a good outline that I will fill out tomorrow morning.in the meantime, I’m taking kids and dog to the park as soon as they finish breakfast (kids = toast, dog = crusts they are droopping her on the sly)oh my gosh, songbird – what a WEEK! I’ll be thinking of you….mompriest – hope you will have some time to relax/process after all those funerals.cheese – I do that reading out of books thing from time to time, and people like it. esp if I just read right from the book, several people afterward ask for the name of it. there’s something about being read to that is different than being preached to….both are good, just different.ooo! Joan, Joan! I did I did a series on the psalms last summer and got quite a few books that were helpful. I think Eugene Peterson’s book on the psalms in community was a good one. Cant remember the others now, as they are at my office. if you’ve got a few more weeks to go, email if you want at psalm46bestill (at) gmail (dot) com and I’ll send you the titles on Sunday or Monday.have a great writing day, all – see you next week!!

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

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

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

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

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  29. Does anyone know why firefox/blogger insists on “refreshing” my screen and erasing my comment every time I navigate away for a minute? It is getting really frustrating!I think I am done with my sermon, working on tonight’s prayers, but finding it hard to concentrate. Freckleface’s last soccer game starts in 1/2 hour, then Skye has to be transported to the Episcopal church to sing with the choir in the priest’s wedding. Laundry is churning and I am trying to clean and pack in anticipation of leaving for the Festival of Homies bright and early Monday morning…but before that, tonight’s service, choir awards at Episc. church tomorrow, then commencement at the Univ. where Starman is receiving an award for his undergrad teaching skills (yay Starman)…I can’t think straight! Hope to meet some of you next week!I’ll share my truffles that I got for Mother’s Day with anyone who could use a chocolate boost!

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  30. Doing my Saturday shift at the British import shop, so I can offer everyone crunchy bars and Chocolate-covered McVitie’s biscuits!Everyone’s ideas sound very good– I’m feeling pushed rather strongly by the Spirit to address the Acts passage using something from my own story– a call to do something from the pulpit I’ve never really done before–definitely a case of “speak the truth, even if your voice shakes.” I feel scared and a bit giddy, but my practical side is questioning my rhetorical tactics. Does it ring false to celebrate joy and justice and inclusion in a sermon to a financially imperiled and dwindling congregation? Or is that actually what they need, just now? Rough draft is done and five minutes too long, so it’s time for some very judicious editing. Trying to decide if I edit myself out…

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

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

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

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

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  35. Oooh, Songbird, I want to hear the smuggling story! Do you like the milk chocolate or dark chocolate McVitie’s best? (I like the chocolate caramel ones, in careful moderation. They’re kind of like civilized s’mores!)How was the fundraiser walk? Hope you and Sam had a lovely time!Sermon’s edited and almost ready to print. Thanks for the feedback. I am keeping MY story IN!

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  36. I continue to be amazed at the things ministry gets me into: I’m on the way to an open house even though I am not in the market for a house. This is quite funny to me and one of the best justifications for procrastination I have ever had and requires so little from me, too.Maybe I’ll win the door prize 🙂

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  37. Hello preaching frienda–I miss the party. Dropping in to say hello and leave some oatmeal cookies. You will be among the first to know when I actually need to prepare a sermon once again.Betsy, tomorrow I think I am finally going to visit that Episcopal church in Sheboygan Falls. Ken is not up to church yet, so it’s a good chance.

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  38. SO, have a wonderful time worshipping with them, and let me know about the experience later!I tend to believe that the parts that make us most nervous to include are often the parts that really need to be in there!Chocolate truffles? I am so there! I forgot that I have some Australian sweets, Fantales–chocolate covered caramels–that my sister brought me; I’m glad to share.Nothing more on the sermon yet or for a while. I didn’t mention that I am starting my exploration of commands by having my husband bring our Lab in (on lead) so I can do some commands with him (the dog, not the husband!). He is a good dog but I know I will have images of disaster going through my head all night 😮

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  39. Back from our first ever geocache which was a find!!! Yipee! I could see this becoming the activity of our summer. We’re all fired up to go find more.I should work out that weird sermon stuff I found while trying to do a rough outline last night. However, I’d rather work on the crocheted baptismal blanket for the baby next week. Oh well. NCIS is on, and at this point I don’t think I can tear myself away.

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

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  41. Laundry…checkChicken set out for dinner…checkSermon done…checkNow to catch up on some other tasks. Always enjoy “teh party” even when I am not supply-preaching. Thanks for all the good “future” ideas and gastronomical delights.

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  42. Got a beginning and an ending on paper. Now to just get the swirling ideas of a middle to take form and find words on the paper.Stopping for a mid-afternoon snack. Ice cream anyone? I’ve got mint chocolate chip, vanilla bean, and chocolate chip cookie dough. Can you tell I love ice cream?!

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

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

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