Good morning, preachers!
It’s one of my favorite Sundays in the church year tomorrow, Pentecost. The texts are replete with images for preaching.

Where is the Spirit moving you?

Will you speak of Peter and the disciples?
Will you land the hard reading on a liturgist, or do the full Cappadocia yourself?
Or will you explicate the Tower of Babel, or share the Roman understanding of adoption so crucial to comprehending Paul’s letter?

It’s not even nine o’clock in the morning where I am, so there’s plenty of time for inSpiration to carry the day.

Join us in the comments to share your thoughts, your plans, your scheme for a Children’s Message and anything else you might like to bring to the party.

I’m laying the table with bagels, cinnamon rolls, orange juice, bananas, grapes and, of course, coffee served up in a “Does This Pulpit Make My Butt Look Big?” mug.

Happy Birthday of the Church! Let’s start the party now!

117 thoughts on “11th Hour Preacher Party: A Fire That Doesn’t Go Out

  1. Hi, again! I have a houseful this morning, both sons home plus a girlfriend and a college classmate on top of the usuals. (Though my daughter was away over night and a very amused 24-year-old guy is sleeping in the room with her American Girl dolls.) I'm preaching tomorrow, and it's Confirmation Sunday. Traditionally it's been a lengthy service, and I'm trying to slim it down where possible. My sermon will be on the short side of normal, and rather than doing strictly a charge to the Confirmands, I'm preaching the Acts text, using our class in the way I use a personal story or illustration. I felt relieved to decide that yesterday and got about halfway through the sermon then, with an outline for the rest. That allows me to spend some time with the young people at my house today, though I am not by any means finished.I'll be in and out all day. My afternoon includes a mani-pedi for confidence: I have three interviews this coming week! I plan to have my toenails painted an encouraging Pentecost Red.

    Like

  2. Wow SB, THREE interviews? You GO!My Communion/Confirmation class meditation is 2/3rds done. I enjoyed meeting with folks who came out for a Bible Study on Thursday, listing all the Scriptures for this Sunday, discussing all of their richness and and then saying, "Okay, we have 5 minutes to preach."I've been kicking off a story about my friend's little girl who after accomplishing something pointed a finger over her head and declared, "I'm AWESOME!" (No, it wasn't me)So I'm charging them with being able to say I'm awesome! We're (the church) awesome! God's awesome!It's an 80's flashback, like totally.I'm going to cook up some Belgian waffles over here with the fixin's. Who wants one?

    Like

  3. Songbird, I've just painted mine a fiery orange. Going to celebrate a wedding this afternoon. Tomorrow, celebrating baptism and a mixed up order to reflect the chaotic spirit – so, like you, relieved to have an outline that just needs filled in a bit but no actual sermon. It was actually warm enough here to breakfast outside this morning. Plenty left to share.

    Like

  4. Hi! It's confirmation for us tomorrow, too, Songbird, tho I'm not preaching this year. It's the Sr. Pastor's 2nd to last sermon before he retires. I have my last Bible study breakfast before summer, and a confirmation rehearsal this afternoon.Also, at 5:00 we have a special joint service with our 7th Day Adventist Hispanic Congregation. Bilingual service with a meal served by the hispanic church afterwards. So, it's NOT lutefisk.

    Like

  5. I am using Genesis and Acts. Walter Brueggemann is re-forming my understanding of the Tower of Babel story and the connection to Acts. Title: Scattering and Listening. Great food choices, BTW. Still pondering something for the children…which is usually one child.

    Like

  6. songbird – you rock!kathrynzj – you are awesome! we are awesome! we are the (awesome church together!)diane – no lutefisk is a blessing right?liz – warm here too! summer… summer…purple – pinwheels. someone will suggest them before the days end i'm sure of it.the sermon is not one of the better efforts, i used an analogy of different kinds of pizza and compared pizza to where we are with the spirit… *shakes head*too late to think about it anymore, i'm off for the day, to a wedding with gal pals from college. think "sex in the city"… and yes indeed gals i bought new shoes for the event. champagne strappy heels… woohoo!!

    Like

  7. Well, it's a good thing we made alternate plan for Pentecost tomorrow and weren't counting on me being there to preach. I'm sitting here in the hospital this morning getting ready to take my new daughter home. We'll call her Pearl for the purposes of the blogosphere. She's a sweet, sweet girl and MUCH more alert than either of my other two ever were in the hospital.I'm currently waiting for my Belgian waffle with strawberries and whipped cream and have half a mind to order one last milkshake for the road. The dinner entrees leave much to be desired around here, but geez does this hospital know how to do breakfast and milkshakes!!!Anyway, just thought I'd stop in to share my news and thank you all for your prayers!May the blessings of the Spirit be with you all today and tomorrow. (OK – – I don't know how I'll resist. I bet I'll stop by for the late night party when I'm up with the little girl tonight!)

    Like

  8. Congratulations on the new arrival She Rev! I'm doing a locum tomorrow and inspired by a comment on Tuesday's lectionary leanings will be looking at the receiving of the gift of the Spirit as an ongoing practice – and one not just for our own benefit but for the wider community.The working preacher video is pretty good – you can see it on youtube http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rmweXyEeoBw or download your own copy at their site. Have the bubble mix and rainbow streamers packed… Need to head to bed as it's Pentecost day already where I am!

    Like

  9. Wow, you go out to walk the dog and pick up the bagels, and look what happens! I'll start a second pot of coffee.She Rev, we're happy to welcome Pearl to the party! Glad she didn't procrastinate her arrival.Thanks for the kind wishes. So far all these interviews are not local to us, so there are many life and family matters to consider in the process. Now, who wants lox?

    Like

  10. Mornin' Gals et al,I have an adult bapt., a confirmation and a reception into the Church tomorrow so I am only doing a passing nod at the readings and the coming of the HS as it relates to the growth of the Church and one's baptismal promises.Most of today is going to be about packing. We have our younger schleper person coming so that we can get boxes to the first floor. Moving Day is 6/11–the aniversary of my ordination–seems appropriate somehow.Congrats, SheRev. I am sure that your congregation will relish the Pearl of great price tomorrow!I have a robin's nest right outside my home office and some very noisy chicks when mom and dad come to feed them. I love the sound. It is the only time I have been thankful for the ivy that climbs all over the windows and makes it impossible to open the casement windows. Am glad to be moving from this house!

    Like

  11. Morning all! Preaching tomorrow–something I think about the tension between the pyrotechnic understanding of the Holy Spirit (Acts)(with roots in the Greek understanding of POSSESSION BY THE GOD, ecstasy, irresponsible utterance etc.)and the (Johannine? Jewish? "In the beginning?") understanding that the Spirit has been there all along ever since "Jesus breathed on them." and where this is going…hinged, I expect on Romans 8!

    Like

  12. She Rev – Yay! Welcome PearlSongbird – You go girl! 3 interviews, somehow sounds trinitarianCrimson Rambler – Tell me more about Pentecost and Finding NemoI'm preaching but I have a breakfast with RevGals and then a geocaching lunch. That should fuel the fire for preaching on Pentecost.See you later

    Like

  13. Vicar, that sounds like an awesome day!My angle on the Pentecost story is that when we let God know we're open, there's no predicting what the Spirit is going to take us to next. That feels like the story of my life at the moment, though I won't be preaching the personal angle other than obliquely.hot cup, have fun!Muthah+, that all sounds propitious.

    Like

  14. Just got off the phone with god guirlll. What an awesome bunch we are, Songbird. The connections and the language we speak is evidence of the HS working in us.Gals, if you can, get yourself to a B event. It makes the whole ring more viable and the information we share more incarnational.

    Like

  15. It has been a wild week here and next week is going to be wilder yet. Yesterday and today are the first days off I have had in about four weeks so I am really struggling to do anything more challenging than a double crostic puzzle.I need to reread the readings and concentrate on the one from Romans. It's the reason I decided not to do Genesis so there must be some reason! I'm really feeling like I shot my wad last Sunday and have nowhere else to go. Surely the Spirit has more for me to say?I have chicken salad for lunch and shrimp harpin for dinner. Y'all come!She Rev, congratulations on the birth of Pearl. May she be a happy baby who brings joy to all of you.

    Like

  16. Confirmation Day here too…and the service will likely be so long that a sermon can't be much more than 5 minutes. But there are 2 other services that *aren't* going to be long, so I sort of need a sermon with an insert, you know? Where it can be 5 minutes OR 10 minutes. Or two completely different sermons. Or…I don't know. Which, of course, is why I'm not started. I've changed the Acts reading a little–I had to cut all the names out because one of the liturgists for tomorrow is so awful, I wasn't willing to watch that again. I also added in verses 37-47, about what the first church was like.I've been pondering what church looks like…and also pondering the connection to the giving of the Torah that we talked about on Tuesday–there was a quote that said something about Pentecost celebrating the giving of the Torah, not the receiving, because to receive it takes a lifetime. I think the Spirit might be the same way for the church–we celebrate the sending of the Spirit, the pouring out, but it takes our whole church's lifetime of action and living together to really see the Spirit's movement. Or something.I'm running off to the Farmer's Market, and then a stop at church to see if I need to wrap the confirmation gifts or if they came in gift boxes (please, God, let there be gift boxes), and to sign the certificates that I completely forgot about all week long.If there's any yummies to be had at the market, I'll bring them back to share! Otherwise, um, help yourselves to Cinnamon Life Cereal, which is all I've got. 🙂

    Like

  17. SheRev, congratulations, and blessings to your family and little Pearl! Margaret, I love shrimp, but I'll admit I don't know what shrimp harpin is. I may need to spend some time looking that up, and recipes for it…all in the name of research and continuing education, of course ;-)Songbird…wow, 3 interviews. I pray the wind of the Spirit blows mightily in your life this week.I have cereal, donuts, milk, and o.j. laid out for all comers, the first of whom were the bunch here for a sleepover last night. One of the cats clearly thinks this is all out for him, as he keeps jumping up to see what tidbits he can find. Help yourselves, please.I had some ideas earlier in the week that seemed excellent, and I got a start to the sermon on Thursday while sitting in jury duty, but it seems a lot less inspired now than it did then.

    Like

  18. SheRev!!! Congratulations, and welcome to sweet baby Pearl!And SB–prayers and best wishes for your interviews this week, and for continuing discernment as you move forward. We have two baptisms tomorrow, and its doubly exciting for me b/c the families of these infants are young(ish), new to the church and enthusiastic about becoming part of the church. We're having red balloons and red velvet cake, and it should be a great day.It wasn't until I read Tuesday's posts that I realized that even though I've preached every Pentecost since I was ordained, (that would be four now), this is the first time I've had this John text. I don't recall the thought process (or lack thereof) that led us to use John 20 every year on Pentecost at my previous church b/c we never (usually) deviated from the lectionary. But Pentecost is still Pentecost, and I will be drawing from both Acts and John–once I finally get writing.I have a lunch meeting in an hour about a ministry that is dying. There are a few people who are REALLY devoted to this ministry and I'm afraid that what they want is for me to fix it for them. Which I can't–and shouldn't even if I could. What I hope I can get them thinking about is that we are a resurrection church, and if we let things that aren't really working die, as hard as that is, perhaps something even more wonderful will rise from the ashes. We'll see how that goes. Prayers for all the confirmands this week, too. Without the Rev Gals, I would have no idea that Pentecost was confirmation day for so many of you!

    Like

  19. Lots of Spirit activity…a baby (congrats SheRev)…interviews (yeah, SB)…and moving(maybe those boxes will pack themselves Mutah+).HEREare my thoughts for tomorrow. I am combining the children's time and "the adult time" (i.e. sermon) all together.

    Like

  20. Okay, the beginning – and maybe even the end! – of my sermon is up on my blog. Who knows what will come out of my mouth tomorrow morning but at least I can say I've thought about it! ;-)Have a good day, all. I'm back to rest and relaxation.

    Like

  21. After several hours of happy distractions in the form of my children and their visiting friends, I am trying to get back to work and wrap this up before my 2:15 appointment. Who needs a fresh cup of coffee? Or is it time to switch to Diet Coke where you are?

    Like

  22. shrimp harpin is as follows: a pound of shrimp cooked, shelled, deveineda cup of rice cookeda can of tomato soupa can of evaporated milk1/4 c. dry vermouth or dry sherry1/4c. diced onion and pepper, sauteeda pinch of mace or allspiceMix everything in a casserole (mine is 10×10). Top with sliced almonds and paprika. Bake at 375 for about 30-45 minutes (until bubbling in the middle).This is a dish my mom used to make for company when we were little. It is a favorite of mine.

    Like

  23. SheRev — Congrats! Does this make Pearl our youngest participant ever in the Preacher Party? I say YES! (also, I was always my mother's "pearl of a girl" b/c of my given name's derivation, so Pearl makes me happy!)Just checking in with y'all. I have an article due next week that I'm finally getting around to — a defense of the Canons of Dordt. I'm a Reformed uber-geek but, not gonna lie, making this thing interesting is a task and a half. WISH my topic were the Holy Spirit!I'll do some liturgy/prayer/baptism prep later today and will keep checking in. Blessings to all!!!

    Like

  24. Margaret, I just happen to have some shrimp to be used up today- shrimp harpin it's going to be – or as near as I can get in Scotland. Thanks. Just got back from a lovely wedding – complete with nearby pub loudly celebrating a goal during the first prayer. LOLI decided to trial my kindle for the liturgy – it worked a treat – excited that I can use it more.I'd love to find out more about Finding Nemo and Pentecost, Crimson…

    Like

  25. Oh, my, Margaret, that sounds fabulous and so easy. I always have Trader Joe's shrimp in my freezer, so I think shrimp harpin will be appearing on my dinner soon. Thanks for posting the recipe!I am no further on the sermon, but I am feeling virtuous because I beautified the neighborhood by finally getting my front yard roses deadheaded and I was a good steward of creation by taking a bunch of e-waste to a nearby round-up (and helped raise funds for the high school grad night at the same time!). I love it when I can procrastinate by doing good 😉

    Like

  26. okay, certificates are filled out, the plaques ARE in gift boxes (hallelujah), and I got spinach and asparagus and cheese at the farmer's market! I have no idea what I'm going to do with those yet, but I'm sure some ideas will come to me.Now I'm burning copies of the confirmand-mentor "soundtrack for our faith journey" onto CDs…and supposedly writing a sermon. But really I'm thinking about lunch.

    Like

  27. I just took the Myers-Briggs for about the millionth time, for a workshop coming up, and I read most of the questions aloud to the collection of twenty-somethings in the house, who found it very funny, especially the questions having to do with keeping up a conversation indefinitely. :-)How's it going out there?

    Like

  28. Such fun to read your thoughts and ideas and join in…I burst out laughing when I saw that Purple had recommended pinwheels…I just got back from K-Mart with a bag full. Bought them out. And here I thought I was creative. I confess I am really awful with children's story ideas. Anyone know how to frame this baby now that I have these pinwheels and a fan? Holy Spirit like the wind…anything else creative here?Congratulations, She Rev. So exciting!

    Like

  29. Hey Everyone…the BE3 folks know me so hello to all. The church's art team created a multi-tiered art piece with the word "wind" translated in a multitude of languages. It hangs above the communion table from the brass advent wreath…who knew the wreath could have more than one use. My description is not very good, but trust me when I tell you it looks pretty nifty. Somehow I just gotta tie that piece into my sermon. Unfortunately I seem to have too many preaching angles and I don't want to give up any of 'em. What to do? Well today is the first day the sun has been out in like a month and it's not raining! I'm headed out to the garden!

    Like

  30. Wow, there's a lot going on! First of all: YAY and CONGRATS to She-Rev and Mr. She-Rev, and welcome to Pearl!Liz, the artwork sounds beautiful!Pinwheel peeps: I finally remembered to order pinwheels this year to use for Pentecost. We got them from Oriental Trading and had to assemble them. So I have to use them as the sermon illustration or the folks that assembled them will not be pleased with me! I'm thinking about how the Spirit moves the church like the wind moves a pinwheel…it's beautiful, but its true purpose does not come true until the wind blows.Or something like that…

    Like

  31. We used pinwheels one year…everyone had one (I remember assembling those Oriental Trading Company pinwheels–took a whole afternoon!). During the children's time we had everyone turn toward the aisle and hold the pinwheel above the head of the person next to them, then blow…it was very cool. Also, the sound of 150 pinwheels turning is pretty fun. We then talked about the sensory experience of Pentecost.During the hymns and liturgy and at one point in the sermon we also talked about pinwheels and how the thing about the Spirit is that she never leaves you standing still–the purpose of a pinwheel is movement, as is the purpose of the church. (or something…it's hard to remember exactly)

    Like

  32. Ooh, that last bit about MOVEMENT is very helpful, Teri! Thanks!We had a little pizza party to have fun while we put those pinwheels together…but I was surprised, it went pretty quickly! Maybe they have changed them recently. All we had to do was connect the straw to the pinwheel itself (some didn't want to go together, but most were okay).We are also using the extra pinwheels as free giveaways for the kids at St. Smaller's chicken BBQ that afternoon.

    Like

  33. they sound pretty much the same, but we had quite a few that didn't want to go together easily. We also had to assemble over 300 of them…and I basically did it myself with a little help from other people as they popped in and out of the office that day.This year the worship enhancement team has put up some incredible sanctuary decoration…there are photos on my FB page for those of you who can access that. I'll put some up with my sermon on the blog later…assuming I ever get around to writing a sermon. I mean, seriously. The only thing left to procrastinate with is cleaning, and that sounds even less appealing than staring at a blank computer screen. LOL.

    Like

  34. Back from my lunch meeting which went MUCH better than I had expected b/c after some preliminary discussion, these folks came up with some good ideas for rejuvenating their ministry on their own. Now back to sermonating…I love the ideas about the pinwheels and will try to remember that for next year. And I love the artwork with "wind" in different languages. And yes, shrimp harpin does sound delicious!

    Like

  35. Congrats She-Rev and welcome Pearl. Congrats to you too SB for 3 interviews.I too will have to remember pinwheels for next year. I'm preaching Gen and have 2 short meditations; Babel Version 1 and Babel Version 2. Lots of help from Feasting this week and a few other places, all to come up with 2 short meditations.We moved a friend this morning and now its time to edit again, if I can just stay awake. Fun to all.

    Like

  36. okay, so I'm getting to work by first listening to all the music for tomorrow.I just want you all to know that this is my favorite Pentecost song ever. It's the introit at all three services tomorrow.(we also use it for kickoff sunday in the fall…and sometimes for easter…and whenever I can convince the music director to do it!)

    Like

  37. I am using the Message version of Acts text. My title is What Does This Mean?Looking at how Church would have felt then and how it might feel now. Also, have a birthday candle, that plays Happy Bday when lit. Will use this with children's sermon to talk about bday of church

    Like

  38. I'm done, Done, DONE! Edits tomorrow but that article is off my plate. One step closer to vacation.Now I think I'll wander over to church to get a handle on tomorrow's liturgy…Keep on keeping on RevGals.Teri, I'm loving the song posted!

    Like

  39. Hi again y'all: I am going to talk tomorrow — with the kids — about learning to speak someone else's language…and from there to the fish (Dorrie? — Ellen de Generes, anyhow) in Finding Nemo who could talk whale and it sounded weird but the whale heard her, and came (our kids aren't really old enuf for Whale Rider yet)…and then I will talk about how the Holy Spirit gives us new words so other people can understand us…but also helps us to tell the truth when we're scared, and to say "I'm sorry" and to say "please" and "thank you" and "I forgive you"…and then I will ask them what we would sound like if the Holy Spirit didn't help us AT ALL — the answer being the seagulls in Finding Nemo, who could only say , 'MINE MINE MINE MINE MINE MINE' over and over. There will be wing-flapping etc. and they will go off to SSchool with that thought.

    Like

  40. there is a phrase in one of the songs we are singing at the alternative service this week:let love be driven like wildfire blown by the wind.I think I can work with that.

    Like

  41. Crimson Rambler, I like the Finding Nemo example!I am a wee bit envious of so many of you who are already finished. I have written a little bit more; at this point, I need to start aiming toward a few points that I promised to include to form a basis for other elements of the service tomorrow. Theoretically, that should make it easier. Realistically, I'm bored.

    Like

We hope you'll join the conversation!

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.