They call chapters 14 through 16 of the gospel of John the “farewell discourse of Jesus.”  My children know all about the farewell discourse of Mom.  Whether it was their first day of kindergarten, or their last moments before leaving for an international flight, or the day that I was the mother of the bride — or any time they embarked on a new thing — there were things that needed to be said.  Instructions were offered, sometimes, and also encouragement and affirmations and words of love.  Right before the good-bye, each word seems as precious as each fleeting moment.
Do you suppose that Jesus said his good-byes to his disciples with a parent’s heart as well as a rabbi’s pride?
I am at the end of two weeks of vacation, so I am not preaching this weekend.  The first ten days were spent moving my household possessions from Pennsylvania to Louisiana.  Even with lots of wonderful help, it was a big job and it was emotional.  After all of that, the body is weary and my mind is ready for a change of pace.  So, I’m looking forward to this day, hanging out here with you.
Whether you are a Preacher Party regular or a new arrival, WELCOME to the party!  
Please share stories, children’s ideas, sermon drafts, prayer requests, or anything that is on your mind. If you don’t see what you need, please ask.
The coffee is fresh, hot, and fair trade.  The snack table is ready for your treats.
Thank you being here!  Let’s party!

98 thoughts on “11th Hour Preacher Party: Holy Parting Gifts Edition

  1. Good morning. I'm just having breakfast – fresh fruit and yogurt followed by Scottish breakfast tea with toast and marmalade. Lots to share! Sermon is pretty far on this week thanks to a train journey on Wednesday. Preaching on the Acts – going over to Macedonia.It's a beautiful spring day here so going to spend a couple of hours tidying the study and then head out for a walk and a picnic lunch. I look forward to seeing what everyone else has later on.Sharon, you're a wonderful, chilled host. Thanks.

    Like

  2. I am continuing the theme of reconciliation I began last week; which is helping me to work out all the stuff I learned on retreat the week before. Continuing with Jesus' "final" farewell gifts, love last week and peace this week; and the vision of heaven in Revelation – this week the River of Life. The kids are going to create a river during their time and will do a show & tell when the return. It will be displayed in their corner for all to see. I ma hungry… so going to brew some coffee… and maybe rustle up a scone or two!! Now I have an outline I can pop away while the ideas percolate….

    Like

  3. Good morning, gals and pals! Off to walk 3 miles for The Diversity Center – partly to support a friend's daughter who works there, partly to get in my daily walk with another friend, and mostly to support and feel good about the value of diversity, something I sorely miss in my church and surrounding community. Food and sermon later.

    Like

  4. I am off lectionary all of May…nothing really jumped out for me when I read the lectionary texts. (Too bad I didn't have Sharon's intro…that could be fun play with graduations etc all month) I am doing a series with some of the titles of Barbara Brown Taylor's "An Altar in the World". This week is waking up to God. Perhaps not an initial waking up…but exploring what it might me to continue to wake up to God our entire lives. A good chunk of yesterday was spent officiating at a funeral and all that goes with that. This morning I am meeting with a bride/groom for the first time. They are from out of state and back for a family event.

    Like

  5. Good morning, Julie!River of Life is such a great image to teach to kids and adults alike. More of that, right?Thanks for making the coffee.

    Like

  6. Good morning, Robin! A three mile walk sounds nice. Lack of diversity is hard for me, too. My sis commented on the one person of color (the only one) that she saw while we were packing up in PA. Congregations with no (or little) obvious diversity also don't want to hear about how diverse they are in other ways. In the UCC, we have a way to talk about that as one of our values — "unity, not uniformity" — but even among those of us who claim that, diversity is not always embraced fully.Please let us know how the world looks out there today!

    Like

  7. Good morning, Purple!As someone who is no longer a young adult (60th birthday coming up!), I would look forward to your telling of the good news that I can look forward to more "waking up to God" events. Even knowing they are out there, I am always surprised when it happens. Wonder why that is . . .

    Like

  8. Good morning, Martha!It will be great to have you back at the party prepping with us. Thanks for the hugs. Now if the house would just sell! Aren't there St. Joseph rituals that are supposed to work? Or something? Anything?Many blessings on your summer ministry.

    Like

  9. Good morning, everyone!It's a cool, green, sunny day in South Louisiana. The birds are chirping and the stinging caterpillars are out in full force. Oh yes! A spring danger here are these spiny black inch-long things that fall out of trees at this time of year. You don't want one to drop from a tree onto you, and you don't want to step on one barefoot. There are venomous spine tips involved. Not fun. Hoping that makes late spring snowfalls sound a little better!The coffee is good and hot. I just made a fresh pot. Help yourselves!

    Like

  10. morning! I'm working on Acts, but I have a VERY short time in which to say anything. We are welcoming new members, having a baptism, and it's a communion Sunday! So I only get about 5 minutes or so…less would be better…I'll have to really write carefully! The title I put in the bulletin is "Active Listening"–working on how both Paul and Lydia listened to the Spirit and put what they heard into action. (oh yeah, the title has double meaning. nice.)Today I'll be making a curried lentil soup for lunch, so feel free to stop by in a few hours. 🙂

    Like

  11. Not preaching tomorrow morning. I have been on the first 2 days of a course training as a spiritual director (spread over 6 weeks) and fortunately thought to ask a lay minister to preach. I didn't have to preach last week either as I was at a friend's first Eucharist. Was just congratulating myself on this lovely break when I received a call inviting me to preach at the cathedral at Evensong tomorrow. One doesn't decline such an invitation. So now instead of known congregation and relaxed sermon I have to prepare one for an unknown congregation and in such a place of high esteem! Why is it I hear the sound of peals of laughter coming from the Almighty?!

    Like

  12. Good morning – barely! Getting a slow start here today, and now I see it's almost noon. Eep!We are still living in a hotel (our house is being repaired – mostly floors, almost everywhere – following our refrigerator water line bursting while we were out of town New Year's Day). Today is Day 25 out of our house – but who's counting? 😉 I could technically move back in this weekend (everything has been put back in order except for the basement), but my husband is now out of town on study leave, and I can't manage moving out of this hotel with two kids, two cats, and 3+ weeks of groceries and belongings, while prepping for Sunday, on my own. So instead, I am writing my sermon here in the suite bedroom on the bed. Wheee! Good times.I'm preaching Revelation and have been looking forward to it – what a beautiful text!! – but am struggling to find focus and passion today. I think writing while sitting up in bed doesn't help!Looking forward to partying with y'all!

    Like

  13. I'm back – beautiful morning for a walk through the city to celebrate diversity – pics on FB.Sermon: preaching the second half of John 21. Basically talking for about a sentence about how "feed my sheep" has an expansive definition, telling the Naomi Shihab Nye airport story that was making the rounds this week, and saying that when we feed Jesus' sheep, amazing things begin to happen in human community. And then moving onto communion, the feeding of sheep.For communion I am doing something I learned at a workshop for Lent (Terri Pilarski — the one with your seminary professor) — interspersing four readings into the liturgy. I put together the first person, very short readings by summarizing news articles I found online over the past few weeks– a doctor who cares for the elderly in the South Bronx, a young person serving a life sentence without parole in California, a Syrian refuge in Jordan, and a homeless woman who used to work on a military base. At the workshop, the readings were from a book of stories from Nicaragua (I think) — it was an incredibly moving service. I'm hoping . . . Oh, and I seem to be switching over to my new email account. But it's still me, Robin from Metanoia.

    Like

  14. Good afternoon preachers. It's a beautiful day here, and I'm just back from a clean-up day at the church. And totally lacking inspiration.It has been a difficult week; we are dealing with a situation of on-going conflict and bullying that flared up IN CHURCH last Sunday. And a letter that has been circulating finally hit my mailbox–and the mailbox of all the vestry members as well. I've known about this letter and its contents, but a few of the signers surprised me. The ringleader/bully is toxic, but she is also someone who grew up in this congregation and she knows how to play them. It makes my stomach hurt thinking about it. I've begun working with a consultant who is coming to our vestry meeting this week, but meanwhile, I dread being in the presence of this person. She was at the work day, and she will be in church tomorrow, too. So I am thinking about going for a run before I even try to start writing; maybe it will help me get my head together…was thinking about doing something about Lydia; also love the imagery of the river flowing by the throne of God in Revelation, but feel like I can't do it justice; not at all inspired by John at this point. Ugh. Come Holy Spirit!

    Like

  15. Oh my, RDM. What a mess. Yes, a run might be just the thing. Prayers, too. Lifting up you and yours now.Is it time for ice cream yet???

    Like

  16. Just read all the comments on Lydia on FB, and MAMD's commentary at the Hardest Question as fodder for my sermon….will ponder as I run. Back in a bit.

    Like

  17. Whew we are a busy lot. Rev Dr.mom, you need our prayers. How very difficult. I'm back from the food bank where our congregation works every other month. It's always so hard to get up and get going, but I'm always glad I went.Does anyone have any fresh coffee left? I warmed up a cup but its not doing the trick. I put together a 'keynote presentation' last night (PPT for Mac) and now need to tailor my remarks to it. I am really ready for a vacation but have another week to go. Somehow the HS will have to do the heavy work for the next 10 days.

    Like

  18. Oh RDM, so so sorry you have to deal with this. I know that stomach-hurting-want-to-run-or-throw-up feeling all too well. I hope you are able to find some peace and that the Spirit speaks clearly and quickly so you can get some rest. I'll be thinking of you tomorrow! ((((hugs))))

    Like

  19. okay, I have something that ties together the Acts text, community, baptism, and communion, all via the importance of Active Listening, in 574 words. If I talk at my normal speed, that's about four to 4-1/2 minutes, which is about all I've got time for tomorrow. I really want to post it for your feedback, but I'm also aware that a fair number of church people are reading my blog these days and I don't want to give it away either!The soup is ready and it is DELICIOUS. It's vegan, creamy with a few chunks of potato and soy curls (which feel like chicken pieces), and full of curry goodness. Come on over! (there'll still be plenty for dinner too, so if you're not ready now, get hungry for later!)

    Like

  20. I want to read it, Teri. If you want, you can email it to revmama at gmail dot com. I do love me some curried lentil soup, and yours sounds especially delicious!

    Like

  21. I will not be preaching this Sunday. The Consultant for the Capital Improvement Campaign will be preaching instead. Prayers requested for my congregation as they work towards a $150,000 goal to repair the roof and masonry.

    Like

  22. Didn't run yet; decided I was hungry and needed lunch first so I ate and read some more on Acts. Still not particularly inspired but feeling the need to get something, anything, on paper. Or in a document anyway (funny how i stick to the old terminology when my sermons never make it to paper, as I preach them from my iPad,)Teri, your soup sounds wonderful!

    Like

  23. So sorry this is happening to you and your church. I had a flare up about once a year until I made them all mad enough to leave – not my intention….I am preaching on peace this week. What does it mean that Jesus leaves us with his peace? Can we know peace in the midst of conflict? Are they polar opposites or apples and oranges? I'm not sure I even have an answer but, then, I am more than willing to leave sermons without a neatly tied bow. 😉

    Like

  24. I love days when I'm not feeling too pressured about the weeks sermon and can take the time to pray through all of your comments. It reminds me what a wonderful community this is.There's some cottage pie left from supper and banoffee trifle.I also have two kinds of soup cooking just now – lentil or red pepper and tomato. Freezing those for later in the week but help yourself.Any ideas for children's time around the Acts passage?

    Like

  25. I have finally gotten a little bit of inspiration and focus and am just settling into a good writing rhythm – only now it's time to go pick my kids up from my mother-in-law's! Still, I am grateful for the bit of quiet I've had to finally get a good start. I think I'm maybe a third of the way in.Though I'm tired of hotel living, there are things I will miss (hello, housekeeping!). Our window looks out onto a pond, which was a nice surprise because it is right here at the mall (I can see the mall parking lot and mall from our window, too). Anyway, it turns out that there are all sorts of birds and waterfowl around this pond, and even a muskrat. I looked up from my computer a bit ago to notice two geese and six goslings swimming across. What a delight!All of your soups sound lovely. Wish I could partake! My lunch was kettlecorn and M&Ms. I did manage to pick up a roast chicken from the deli. I'm sure my kiddos will complain about it, so why don't some of you come join me for dinner?

    Like

  26. I just made a GIANT pot of eye of the goat beans (to be served with a cilantro/parsley/mint relish and feta) so help yourself (I cooked them a bit too long, but squishy beans shouldn't hurt anyone). That said, I actually had some fun with my sermon and used Maria as an image for the Holy Spirit (you know, Julie Andrews…). We'll be celebrating Rogation Sunday and blessing the church garden, so I DID segue into rogation via the Holy Spirit 😉

    Like

  27. Joy, sounds delicious (the soup) and fun(the worship) I've got my 'draft' or outline of questions and points, my keynote (ppt) and my worship pieces. I guess it's time to walk the dogs!(then maybe some fun reading? Oh my it's 4:30 i feel like it's the gift of time!)best to you all!

    Like

  28. OK. I think I've finished tweaking sometimes, the more I do early in the week, the longer I "fiddle" later on!Thinking about a snack before bed here – toasted tea cakes anyone?

    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.