The Cloisters, Iona Abbey

Halloween, All Saints, All Souls – will any of these feature in your sermon this week?
In my congregation, we observe All Saints this Sunday and Armistice next Sunday, so the theme of Remembrance carries through November for us.
As well as honouring our traditions and celebrating those who have passed on the baron to us, I like to celebrate the saints around us today.
The NL passage about Naaman points to the presence of saints in unlikely guises.
While in the RCL, Joshua finally leading God’s people into the promised land prompts celebration of all the tradition and heritage they carry with them along with all the lessons God’s people have learned as they wandered in the wilderness.
In the RCL Gospel, we are reminded of the call to serve being a mark of greatness.
Posts on the NL and the RCL from earlier in the week may help form that elusive sermon.
Are you struggling with these texts or are you using something else, tackling Stewardship or some other theme?
Or, perhaps you are ahead of the game, all set for Sunday and can offer others some encouragement.
You are all very welcome at the Preachers Party. It’s a non stop virtual buffet with a side of real inspiration as folk come and go, sharing what they have, asking for what they need.
Together, let’s find God’s word for God’s saints today.

65 thoughts on “11th Hour Preacher Party: Celebrating the saints edition

  1. Well, I might as well be the first to comment, as I’ll likely be the last to leave too. No sermon started on paper yet, though I do have many thoughts in my head, but first I must work on my 5-page paper for COMM 208, Mass Media Communications. Such is the life of a full-time undergrad.
    When I DO get to writing said sermon, I will be sermonizing on “What is God’s Name?” Not really from the lectionary, though God as Father is named in 1 Thess., but this topic suits our community needs this week.
    I’ve only got whiskey so far…by tomorrow I’ll be able to bring more snacks.
    Hang in with me, Sisters! It’s gunna be a long ride!

    Like

    1. Welcome, Jan. “What is God’s name?” I’m sure there will be plenty of inspiration here. Hope the paper writing goes well and you can get to the sermon at a reasonable time!

      Like

      1. All done! It’s fairly short, to allow for congregational feedback. We are going through some tough times at church, and I feel the need to allow them to speak and, in that way, to connect with each other.

        Like

    2. “What is God’s name?” reminds me of the song “Prince of Peace,” which we did with our confirmation students last week. Do you know it? One verse is all about various names of God: you are Lord of Lords, you are King of Kings, you are Mighty God, Lord of everything. You’re Emmanuel, you’re the great I AM, you’re the Prince of Peace who is the Lamb. You’re the Living God, you’re my Saving Grace, you will live forever, you are Ancient of Days, you are Alpha, Omega, Beginning and End, you are Savior, Messiah, Redeemer and Friend, you are my Prince of Peace and I will live my life for you! When I’m sitting somewhere I can turn on the sound on my computer, I can look for it on youtube if you think it would work for your folks 🙂

      Like

      1. Canoist, I do know that one! I love the names of God, and I am hoping to inspire our church to look at them anew. See which ones they use now, which ones bug them (and why), and which ones they might want to incorporate into their private worship. I’ll be humming your song tomorrow! 🙂

        Like

    3. Just checking in – have yet to start and it is almost 5 pm. Wanted to give you a word of encouragent and a tall travel mug of coffee. You can spike it with your whiskey w/o getting sleepy. ounds like you have a marathon ahead of you! Do you know the Brian Wren hymn “Bring Many Names?” It has about 6 verses, all with various metaphors and names for God. You might be able to do an audio clip(or just read some of it!) and it would take up some of your sermon space with already well-crafted words.

      I may drop by for a night cap once mine is written.

      Like

      1. Lynn, my pastor texted me this week and suggested that we use that hymn instead of one that we had already chose. It’s pretty well perfect! It’s now our Song of Response after the sermon. 🙂

        Stop by for a cuppa. I’ll be here for a while longer enjoying the song Canoist recommended.

        Like

  2. Breakfast underway here- banana and cereal. Then we’ll head to garden centre to find some bacon butties. Not preaching tomorrow but I’ll be back to share some youth church ideas.

    Like

  3. It’s shoebox Sunday here tomorrow and also the beginning of Crossreach week (Crossreach is the social care arm of the church of Scotland) so I am focusing on “Whatever you have done for the least of these” which is the lectionary reading in 3 weeks (which I will regret using this week when we get to that Sunday but I will deal with that then!) It’s starting to come together and it’s only 9:30am – great feeling.
    I have cherry scones I baked last night. Please help me eat them or I’ll scoff the lot today on my own!

    Like

    1. Cherry scones?? Oh, I miss Britain! I lived in Newmarket, England from 1990-93. Loved it!!!
      Glad you got your sermon done so early! Sending blessings for your worship from Spokane, WA, USA!

      Like

  4. 8.30 pm Saturday evening, so time to start on the sermon. Naaman, Elisha, letters between Kings, and some slaves – who seem to be the most useful people in the story.
    I have some ideas, too many ideas 🙂 and it is communion. Thinking about power, maybe because I was at ethical ministry seminar this week, and the topic was power. [and some of the ministers think power isn’t an issue – but that is a rant for another time]
    also thinking about why this story is in the Bible
    hopefully when I start writing something helpful will flow.

    Like

    1. Pearl, great to have lots of ideas.Hope you can corral them! There are so many layers in this story, so many directions we might take Look forward to seeing where you go.

      Like

  5. Done, seems like lots of background, but maybe that is one good thing about the Narrative Lectionary for this congregation, and this preacher – getting some of the background and sense of the overall story, not only some thinking about the meaning for today.
    a miracle of Elisha

    after 11.00 pm. time for a cup of camomile tea with one of Tanya’s cherry scones and bed.

    hopefully tomorrow is a less interesting day than today – at lunchtime a house up the road was on fire, we have been told there was an explosion in the garage turned office – no one was hurt, but all the man’s business records etc have gone. Police and fire brigade in the street for all the afternoon. and the water main over the road burst, so we were without water for a few hours, on a 35 + C day – at least we had some drinking water in the fridge. tomorrow expecting cooler weather, which will be a refreshing change form the past few days.

    see you in the morning,

    Like

  6. Checking in briefly. I have pottery class and then A Wedding Event (yes, capitals needed) to attend, out of town, outdoors, on the first chilly day we’ve had all fall. Thank heavens for sustainable sermons. In particular, this one on the Joshua text, about the Lord being with us in the middle–in the middle of the good stuff and bad stuff and transitions of all kinds. It’ll do.

    Like

  7. I am preaching 1 John 3 here. The sermon title is “What is a Saint?” The sermon is not written. My best friend and fellow clergywomen delivered a baby on Thursday. Sadly the baby died during the delivery and all I have done since Thursday is cry. I can’t focus. Praying that the Holy Spirit can work in spite of me tomorrow. Praying that God will surround Becca and her husband with love and grace during this horrible time and they will feel comfort and our prayers.

    Like

    1. Megan, crying with you here. And lifting up prayers for you and Becca and her family. Also invoking the saints to surround you with strength and peace for tomorrow.

      Like

    2. Many, many prayers for Becca, Megan, and for you as well. The Spirit will speak for you and through you tomorrow, and as you grieve and comfort Becca and her husband

      Like

    3. God be with Becca and her husband! God surround them with loving arms and loving family.

      Your heart must be torn in two for your friend! God be with you as you minister to others while you grieve.

      Like

  8. I am staring at a sermon I sent off in draft form to a couple of editors yesterday. It’s an important one, as the entire service will be recorded as a part of my ordination process. Thankfully, I got some good comments, especially from Martha (thank you!) and have something to work with. I’ve got three hours before my girls, my parents and about 30 youth show up here at the church ready to go costume bowling. I’ve got to be completely ready for tomorrow by then, since after bowling is a potluck and meeting for one of our ministry teams. So, praying I can revise well, and more than that, preach well! My two colleagues are out of town this weekend, so I am flying solo. Also praying, therefore, that all the little stuff goes right.
    I’ve already had breakfast, but I snuck in some gobstoppers from the Halloween candy to keep me going. I’ll share! Blessings to you all.

    Like

  9. Children are with grandparents at mall getting some time and space– emphasis on space– to run around….One mini-homily done for this evening’s All Saints’ Service and now I need to do the homily for tomorrow. Exhausted though. Trying to get my brain on-line. Homily needs to be short…as our services have been very full lately and we are lighting tea-lights tomorrow with communion, plus new substitute organist, and stewardship info, etc, etc. I am matching a poem by Jan Richardson (thank you!) about being wedded to the dead with the beatitudes (matthew passage). God help me– that’s a prayer– I hope I can say something meaningful and true in the midst of losses– both my own and the congregation’s…as we’ve had a couple of deaths recently. Sermon title: Where the river runs deep…which is a line taken from Jan Richardson’s poem and I want to explore that. Everything needs to be done before I leave for tonight’s service…but my mind is NOT cooperating. ARRGHH. We had pancakes for break-fast with syrup and orange juice…lunch will be on the fly…probably PB+J.
    I am losing my regular childcare provider for Sunday mornings starting next week and don’t have anyone in place…She’s been great and she’s leaving for a good reason (expecting another child) but I am trying not to freak out about this latest turn of events. So lots of prayers in the midst of my writing.

    Like

  10. This week I’m tweaking a sustainable sermon on Naaman. Unless, of course, I run out of time today, in which case I’ll just preach it as-is without tweaking…

    Instead today I’m (theoretically furiously) working on a wedding homily. The wedding is at 3, I need to leave at 2, and it is currently 11:21 (and I haven’t showered yet). So I don’t have much time to come up with something to say about the whole “two are better than one…a three-fold cord is not easily broken” business.

    Also, this wedding will include the letters-in-a-box-with-wine thing (instead of unity candle or sand ceremony or whatever else), so I need to come up with something nice to say about that too.

    I have comfort foods here–mashed potatoes, green bean casserole. yum. Have some lunch!

    Like

    1. Hope your wedding went well. What is a letters in the box wine thing? We had 5 weddings in the last two months and all but the outdoor one did the blending of the sands. I would love to have another ritual to suggest. Not that I mind either the unity candle or the sands.

      Like

      1. The wedding was lovely, thanks!

        The wine box is this weird-ish new “tradition” where the couple chooses a bottle of wine (or other beverage–this one was rum, haha), and puts it in a special box (this one looked like a treasure chest…they are available all over the interwebz). Then they write each other letters and seal them in the box with the wine. The box is then opened at a later date–some traditions say on the 5th anniversary, unless they get into a really tough time or big fight and need reminding of all the reasons they loved each other before then. This couple is planning to open theirs on their first anniversary, and replace the beverage and letters with new ones for the next year, and so on.

        I said something like this when it was time:
        “As a reminder that this relationship is far more than this one day, but rather stretches into the future, into the unknown, yet Anna and Alex have covenanted to face that unknown future together, they have chosen to symbolize that commitment to whatever might come in the form of an anniversary box. Into the box they have already placed their favorite beverage. They have also each written a letter to the other. These letters will be sealed into the box, ready to be opened on their anniversary—as a reminder of the promises they have made, the journey they have traveled, and their commitment to continue that journey together. May the words they have said this day be an encouragement and comfort to them in the future, an opportunity to reflect on the choice to love in sickness and in health, in joy and in sorrow, and may they celebrate together with gratitude in coming years.”

        I actually really do dislike most of these weird unity candle/sand ceremony/whatevers. I kind of think vows and rings should be sufficient. But this one was at least more fun than usual.

        Like

  11. Good morning! Donuts and coffee here!

    I am preaching a meditation (code for very short sermon) tomorrow, as we will celebrate All Saints’ Day with communion and candle lighting. Preaching Naaman, but focusing on the servant girl. Title: The Unlikeliest of Saints.

    Like

  12. I’m just about to have dinner – not sure what it will be, though!
    Last year, I asked the congregation to bring a picture of themselves to worship and we pasted those onto an outline of the church, celebrating the body – seen and unseen. Already some of those folks have joined the cloud of witnesses. So, tomorrow we’ll acknowledge that right before we celebrate baptism.

    Like

  13. Almost done with All Saints’ sermon for tomorrow – focusing on the Beatitudes, brief shout-out to Revelation 7. Blessedness is something that God gives to us, not something that we earn through our actions, not something that the world always recognizes. Likewise with All Saints – not everyone who died actually lived a wonderful life, but we celebrate their memory today anyway, and more importantly, celebrate the eternal life that they now enjoy, that awaits us also – because God says so, not because we’re so saintly.

    Hm. I have a sermon that can be summarized in a paragraph and yet I’ll be subjecting my people to 1300+ words tomorrow. Maybe time for some editing once I figure out how to conclude…

    Like

  14. I’m off lectionary for the stewardship drive… just this week and next left in the 5 week series. But, my text coincides with the RCL — the beatitudes. It’s also All Saints celebration, so I’ll be combining the Revelation text with “Blessed are the Poor in Spirit.” And that is all I’ve got for now. I’m off to seek some heat at the local coffee shop… heat in my office is not yet working. Snow on Halloween is new to me….brrrr

    Like

  15. Needing to keep this as ‘meditation’ since we are celebrating the lives of the saints in the church triumphant, and communion, and I have another worship service at 11:05am, I will be reading the reading on Naaman and inviting people to identify themselves with one of these S.I.P.(s) (Saints-in-Progress), (the kids and I will be on the lookout for SIP’s during the Children’s Moment); pause briefly on Wesley’s Sanctifying Grace and come down with a Native American story I heard long time ago about the Communion of the Saints…
    I might be stretching it…

    Like

  16. when I came into the kitchen for breakfast, realised something was wrong- no baking bread smell… OOPS forgot to put the bread in the bread maker for communion today.
    not a major problem, we can get bread on the way to church – maybe a sign of where my brain is, or isn’t!

    Like

  17. I’m going to try to talk about the communion of saints as sort of a virtual community. Just like sharing cherry scones and pumpkin lattes virtually, we can’t touch and see the reality of people we have lost, in the same way we once did, but are connected in a larger realm. May use the example of the RevGals who took photos of themselves in red stoles to virtually share in Nikki MacDonald’s ordination in a far away land. I just thought that was so cool. Course I have congregants who are not at all into computers, so I’ll have to work hard for them to get this!

    Like

  18. It is 5:05 pm. I haven’t started but I have a clear direction! We are on the NL, so will be doing the Naaman story. I believe the general gist will be almost a counterpoint to the healing. I am saying this so poorly.I I will probably be doing more of a riff on how the ones we remember on All Saints/All Souls didn’t necessarily get the healing we had hoped for, etc. It will be more than “heartbreak sucks” ut I am definitely including that (in nicer words). There has been much good conversation on this text at the facebook group page (the NL group) if anyone is still unclear of the direction they wish to take.

    As I spent the morning with boy 1, watching him play Minecraft and the afternoon with boy 2, watching him play basketball in a not too far away town, there is nothing done about dinner. Not even anything defrosting. Sooo, I am off for Chinese take out. I will bring both herbivore and carnivore approved potstickers to the party. They should be on the table by 6 central time.

    Like

  19. I’m calling it a day here in Scotland. For those of you who have clock change, hope it helps. I’ll be back early morning to put the coffee on for early birds. Blessings on the work you’re still preparing.

    Like

  20. home form worship and a short meeting afterwards to plan the Christmas services. carols, someone else is looking after most of, and also the carols and lessons on the first Sunday after Christmas, which leaves me fairly free to concentrate on Christmas morning.Feels good to have a plan.

    I guess many of you are resting now, sweet dreams.

    Like

  21. Had to break into the cupboard where the handbells are kept by removing the hinges, since the key seems to have vaporized. We will toll a bell for each saint named during the communion liturgy tomorrow. All is set up for the silent auction that happens after worship, which is followed by the harvest potluck, in celebration of completing our stewardship drive. Since my husband volunteered to bake his famous whole wheat bread for the auction, it meant scrubbing down the kitchen before I could make the gluten-free communion bread. But I do think I have finally found a recipe people will like, if it comes out of the pan without falling apart – won’t know until morning, because it’s supposed to completely cool first. The sermon is on the beatitudes, and I particularly like Earl Palmer’s explanation of the word ‘blessed’ in Feasting on the Word, so that’s the close, which goes right into the Invitation to the Table. Here’s the link: http://pastorsings.com/2014/11/01/blessed-sermon-on-matthew-51-12/
    The clocks have all been set back, and there is a bit of Halloween candy still in the bowl, so help yourself if you need a little chocolate!

    Like

  22. The wedding was wonderful, the couple is adorable, the reception was fun…now I’m home, under the blankets with cats and tea and Facebook. I’ve just decided that the sustainable sermon doesn’t even need tweaking–I’m just going to use it as is. I’ll read it several times tonight and in the morning to make it more fresh in my mind…but that’s it.

    Of course, in the middle of the cake-cutting I remembered that I don’t yet have a communion liturgy written. I may decide to do it in the morning. And of course I haven’t thought of a children’s time, because I am still secretly hoping there are no children (so I have more time). But if there are children, I suspect I’ll riff on All Saints and Communion, and how we come to the table with all God’s people even when we can’t see them. or something that doesn’t end up sounding like a ghost story (hopefully).

    Best dessert of the night: a cheesecake with graham cracker crust, apple slices under the cheesecake, and topped with crumble topping and caramel sauce. omg. I stuck some in my purse for you all, so if anyone needs a late-night snack (or a breakfast treat, for those of you in other time zones!), it’s ready. So delicious.

    Best moment of the wedding: the bride was focusing so intently on not crying during the vows that on one line instead of repeating what I said, she said “oh crap, I already forgot–what was it again?” LOL.

    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.