The sanctuary of Mother Emanuel
The sanctuary of Mother Emanuel – Photo: TheChurchesoftheWorld.com as found at San Francisco Bay View.

When the events of the wider world demand a preacher’s attention, we try to provide helpful resources at the Preacher Party. This time I want to start with a word of encouragement to take on the hard truth facing U.S. churches in particular.

Preachers, I am thinking about the group of people who used to meet with me on Wednesday evenings, in my upstairs study at the first church I served, seven or eight of them each week. What would they have done, what would we have done, if a stranger had appeared and asked to see me? Would we have invited him in? Of course I can’t know this for certain, but isn’t that who we want to be as Christian people? It’s who the men and women gathered at Mother Emanuel AME Church were. Many of the reports and leaked quotes may turn out not to be true, but one I heard on Friday was that Dylan Storm Roof said he almost didn’t fire his weapon, because the people were so nice to him.

As I choose my words for preaching this week, I am thinking of the nine who died on Wednesday evening:

Cynthia Hurd, Susie Jackson, Ethel Lance, DePayne Middleton, Clementa Pinckney, Tywanza Sanders, Daniel Simmons, Sharonda Coleman-Singleton, Myra Jackson.

I am also remembering the circle of people who used to sit in that little room with me, with no alternate way out, trusting in God. I will aim to speak the truth, because of their faithfulness. The disciples asked in Mark 4, “Do you not care that we are perishing?” Now the world asks the church the same question.

*****

It may be that we need virtual hugs, snacks and coffee more than ever as we do this work. We may also need resources. We’ve been gathering them in the RevGalBlogPals Facebook group (click here to join if you are not a member), and we compiled some links from within our web ring here: Mother Emanuel ~ a special The Pastoral is Political; check the comments for additional links.

The Revised Common Lectionary discussion from Tuesday is here, and you can find the texts at Vanderbilt’s Lectionary site. This week’s host, T. Denise Anderson, also added this on the Facebook page for her blog, Soula Scriptura, for those preaching David and Goliath.

RevGal Rachael Keefe offers this prayer of lament with the RCL in mind: Wake Up!

RevGal Mindi Welton-Mitchell has written a prayer with white congregations in mind, to call us to action against racism: A Call for Justice.

Rev. Julia Seymour wrote our Friday Prayer: Hard Words.

We don’t have a summer Narrative Lectionary discussion; check out the commentary and podcast at Working Preacher.

Odyssey Network’s Preaching Reflections include work by RevGals Wil Gafney and Karyn Wiseman.

Rev. Carolyn Winfrey Gillette offers up a new hymn text, They Met to Read the Bible. I have this with music as a Word Document; email me at revgalblogpals at gmail dot com for a copy to project or print.

Please add other helpful resources in the comments, and let us know what’s going on with you. May God work with us and through us, as we see each other through it this weekend.

87 thoughts on “11th Hour Preacher Party

  1. A word of encouragement to those considering a service/sermon/whatever of lament this week: I am at a Presbytery meeting, and the youth led closing worship this evening. It was a service of lament: a Juneteenth remembrance, candles lit for those who died in floods in our Presbytery, and for those who died in Charleston. Prayers. Psalm 77. It was very well done, and deeply meaningful, perhaps especially because it is not what we usually expect when the youth lead us. But it was real. And true.

    My sermon is David and Goliath, where Goliath is racism. And we are Davids, fortified by God’s strength to do what needs to be done. I am selfish enough to wish that more than 10 people would hear such a sermon, since I’ve gotten up the guts to write it. But, as usual, I’m preaching what I need myself to hear, so at least one person needs it!

    Like

      1. Mercy, y’all. This is why I’m not a blogger–I’m not used to putting my sermons out there! I’ll not paste in the whole sermon, but here are the closing paragraphs:

        A giant evil occurred this week in Charleston, South Carolina. It’s giant evil that lives all over our country, and sometimes even within our own hearts. How can we begin to confront that giant? Well, we step out and do so. Even when that giant is a small, distasteful, racist joke. We confront that. Even when that giant is someone being treated unfairly in a store. We confront that. And when that giant is big and evil, proclaims it proudly, then we confront that. We can’t remain in the crowd, silent and fearful. We summon up the courage of David, we remember who is with us, and we speak up.

        This scares me, I will confess to you. I don’t like confrontation, and I don’t like to make people as uncomfortable as I’ve made you and myself just now, and I don’t like pointing out people’s bad behavior. But it’s all part of that giant evil that we face. And we saw this week just how giant that evil is. And we can no longer be silent.

        We are not alone, we David’s. We are not alone, Israelite army. We are not alone, God is with us, waiting for someone to claim their God-given courage to fight the evil giants that surround us. May you, may I, be that one.

        Like

        1. Monica, thank you for putting your words here. They helped me pull together a 1 am sermon and gave me a structure that I knew I needed for the messy thoughts that were swirling around for a couple of days! For my ELCA congregation in a small Midwest town, here are my opening paragraphs. The whole sermon will be posted later today at http://bethkjoy.blogspot.com (I usually don’t post until after I preach because it often changes in the pulpit!)

          The text is 1 Samuel 17:

          There is a giant evil and its name is racism.

          We looked this giant in the face this week, and we were shocked to see a familiar face looking back at us—a young man, a member of an ELCA congregation, baptized at a font like this and confirmed in a sanctuary like this.

          He is one of us.

          And of those nine people he killed, two were pastors educated at a Lutheran seminary. They were “two of us” also. So today we know…it is not a matter of “us” and “them”. It is us.

          We don’t know what happened to cause the hatred he was feeling, but we know the words he spoke as he did it. He spoke his hatred as he acted, and it was hatred toward others of a different skin color than his own. This is not what we teach in the ELCA; but sadly, we do hear it in our culture at times. Usually it’s in the form of jokes or side comments, and usually we’re too polite to call it what it is. We try to keep it small, push it into the corner, pretend it’s not there.

          But racism is no small matter; it’s giant. The act of racially-motivated violence that he carried out has been called “unspeakable”. But we’re going to speak of it. Because the reason it has been the giant in our country is that we hear those racist words and we see these terrible acts, and we are dismayed and greatly afraid…just as the soldiers of Israel were when they faced Goliath….

          Like

          1. Wow, Beth. That is really powerful, to see ourselves in Goliath’s face. Thanks for posting yours, too. (And mine has already changed from what I posted, and probably will as I preach it, too!)

            Like

  2. So far I have a couple of pages of cut and paste from what I have gathered up over the last 72 hours. On top of Charleston, one of our seminarians had a baby born with genetic defects – the baby died today. I am out of mojo tonight, so I will re-visit it all again in the morning.

    Like

  3. We have company this weekend adding a degree of difficulty, so I had already planned to use an old sermon on Mark 4:35-41. Fortunately, it’s a string of vignettes about storms, so I am adding a section about Dylann Storm Roof and the dear souls he killed. I managed to rough that in tonight, but need to look at the whole thing again tomorrow and be sure it strings together right.

    I’m not actually worried about the response people may have as much as I am concerned that the congregation as a whole takes so little interest in the broader world that this won’t seem like anything that connects to their reality. (I feel that way about most things with them.)

    I’ll be back in the/my morning with virtual coffee cake. And lots of coffee.

    Like

    1. Martha–your last remark about preaching to a congregation of people that takes so little interest in the broader world struck me. I, too, serve a congregation that is isolated and insulated. When I pray for world and national concerns, I get an equal number of “thanks for calling attention to…” and “what has this to do with us?” responses. Praying that tomorrow I can awaken a few more. Just following the Spirit’s bidding and feeling the love!

      Like

  4. My house is strawberry central, as I picked 17 pounds earlier this week. And though I am a selfish hoarder of these little summer delights, since this is a virtual party I will happily set out the pound cake, the biscuits, the jam, the sauce, and the whipped cream for you. Even in dark days, may we taste and see that the Lord is good, and be strengthened. Or at least lift our blood sugar levels.

    Our summer series “Moved By The Spirit” this week has me preaching 1 Corinthians 1.10-31, about divisions and about wisdom and foolishness. In the series, this week’s planned spiritual practice was to place yourself in the path of beauty…to be foolish enough to seek out and stop for beauty in the midst of a world whose wisdom says that is wasteful and unproductive.

    I’m still wrestling with whether that practice will still work, from a different angle, or if I need to rethink that bit.

    Other than that, I told a friend earlier that the sermon practically writes itself–all that is getting in the way is my courage (or cowardice) to preach it. I think I can, and will, even though it will probably mean throwing up before church on Sunday.

    The title is “The Corinthian Dream” and the angle had been about the american dream…and now it will be that Corinth was a town known for its division, for its inequality and disparity and disdain for the poor/different…and so was the church. From there to the quick little topics of systemic racism, hyper-individualism, violence, self-centeredness, and guns. The core quote will probably be Richard Rohr: ““To pray and actually mean ‘thy Kingdom come,’ we must also be able to say ‘my kingdoms go.’”

    No problem, right?

    Of course I’m out all day Saturday for an Iona Community family group meeting and the Highland Games, so hopefully the sermon really will write itself, either in the next hour now or tomorrow evening…

    Like

  5. Teri I am loving the strawberries. I’m glad I got ahead last week as I have spent most of the week fighting off a virus while being crazy-busy at work. My theme for tomorrow (given to me as part of a series) is “saved to serve” and as it is also our “end of school year” service I’m going with more of a “light talk” than a heavy sermon. After much indecision I have decided to allude to Charlston, but not to make it a major part of my sermon because I fear that from outside the US it could turn into “lets all criticise the splinters of racism and violence in our american neighbour’s eye, rather than aknowledge the enormous great planks of violence and racism in our own eye” – so I will say something like that in a section where I invite us all to see everyone we look at as a beloved and unique creation of God and someone for whom Christ died. (I’m giving that task as “homework” for the week, not least to myself. What would change if I looked at everyone i meet in that way…) Or something along those lines anyway… Have decided to do what I would do in my dayjob and make a slideshow but not write a full text. Task for this morning is to finish making the slideshow and then practice practice practice.

    I have some nice bread and homemade cherry jam to add to the table. And hot tea…

    Like

    1. Alison, that was the practice I gave a couple of weeks ago (or was it just last week?)–to see the image of God in every single person you see during the week. It seems so simple….

      Like

  6. Aboriginal peoples celebrate a strawberry festival – or they did – and some here in Canada still do. Strawberries are the ‘first fruit’ of the season, and therefore significant. – and they must be shared in the ceremony. I will add some fresh Portuguese coffee to the table, since just coming home from there with a supply. Sorry there is no ‘questo fresco’ to go with the berries. While we in Canada don’t have quite the same racism in the same way, we do have it. For us, the major loss (and it’s certainly based in racism) is of many murdered and missing aboriginal women – and neither the RCMP nor our government will make any effort to investigate. We have just finished a three-year Truth and Reconciiliation Commission, the report is out, and our Prime Minister doesn’t think it is his role to act on it. Canada’s record with our native peoples is abysmal and getting worse. I will be starting with Emmanuel. but bringing it home to those peoples on whose land we sit, which we stole from them and continue to steal.

    Like

    1. All racism is hard to own up to, despite being broadly present just about everywhere. I’m learning a lot this week about the history in other countries but hopefully not letting it distract from the hard truth about mine.

      Like

  7. This is a hectic, two different sermon weekend. This is Columbus’ Gay Pride celebration and I am preaching at the ecumenical service that always kicks off the Saturday festivities before the parade. Right now the fog is thick and it has been raining all night. Does not bode well for the day. In light of Charleston, changed some of sermon to reflect that although we enjoy a relatively open and affirming environment in Columbus, it is our responsibility, our duty, to work for acceptance and love for all people in the world. Here’s to a soggy Saturday!

    https://deniray.wordpress.com/2015/06/19/being-gay-is-a-gift-from-god/

    The other sermon will center on fear. . . and the assurance of the love of God and Jesus (in the post-written, editing stage).

    Blessed Saturday to everyone

    Like

    1. Thanks Katherine. Brad’s words definately deserve a wide hearing. And his historically aware perspective as a relatively recent immigrant from Kansas to Montreal and then Saskatchewan is important.

      Like

  8. We’re up and thinking about the day ahead, but I probably won’t get back to work on my sermon until our guests take off for a day trip to Gettysburg, a place that of course reminds us of the bloody cost of our national history.
    What’s on my mind is that every time a terrible thing happens – or at least one that gets major news coverage – I naively believe it has the potential to be the incident that changes hearts and minds. I have hope again because at least this time there isn’t the added element of people’s defensiveness around the police to address. And I hate that. I hate that the perceived difference of these people of color (churchgoers! pastors even!) might make the average person who grew up under the rules of racism see them as more valuable, more human than a kid walking home from a convenience store. I hate that.

    Like

  9. For the last 6 years I’ve preached in a psychiatric hospital where the events of the “world” were so far removed from the concerns of the folks who attended worship. Now I pastor a church where they are fully present. Our summer sermon series is built around questions they have asked and tomorrow’s is “Why Church?” I don’t worry about what I’m going to say, I worry about getting through it without totally breaking down. My mother was a racist to the very core of her being. Whenever I see or hear about racially motivated crimes I think, “But for the grace of God…” I don’t feel guilty, though I am repentant for her racism and the parts I internalized without knowing it and for the part, however passive, I have played in the racism of society. Mostly, I feel so angry and frustrated.Why Church? Because church at once gives us safe harbor and thrusts us out into the storm. Peace. Be still.

    Like

  10. In addition to the Charleston events, our community is reeling from the tragic deaths of two young people killed in a car accident on Wednesday night, as well as the shooting death of a woman in what is believed to be a domestic violence dispute. The lives of her three young children have also been changed forever. David and Goliath, the disciples’ fear, Jesus calming the storm and a busy weekend of family events in my household …. Lord in your mercy and in your love!

    Like

  11. 10pm Saturday evening, and once again I am nowhere near finished. We are on psalm 27 : 1-6 and Matthew 6: 24-34. In Australia today is national refugee day, Monday is the anniversary of the Uniting Church [38 years old this year] and tomorrow the congregation will host the local Amnesty group for letter writing and a soup lunch, last year we wrote over 100 letters. add to that racism, and thinking about what does it mean, what does it look like to Trust God? one of our members was at a
    love makes a way action at our national parliament house this week – so am including the video, maybe not all 5 minutes of it. so that means a shorter sermon?
    so time to get this thing written!

    Like

  12. Trust God
    a shorter sermon, but with a few bits earlier on the UCA anniversary and Love Makes a Way action that should be OK – and when has anyone ever complained about a sermon being too short? . Love Makes a Way is group of Christians who hold prayer Sit-ins at politicians offices – which has led to arrests and court appearances. so far no-one has been imprisoned. they are praying for an end to children being held in immigration detention centres. . Wednesdays action was in the foyer of our national parliament building.

    time for a cup of tea and bed for me, blessings for those just starting their day.

    Like

  13. I am so stressed out over this sermon with an African American Associate Pastor who refuses to say anything about race – ever, and my own history of speaking up about race here and receiving angry emails/letters and reduced giving to a very strained budget. I checked the trending Facebook topic about the Holocene Extinction to see if it was by chance going to happen before tomorrow morning at 9:30 eastern standard time.

    No dice.

    Like

  14. Unlike my normal pattern, I wrote my sermon Wednesday morning. That’s what I get for writing early in the week. My first sermon was about both David and Jesus being needed “just as he was” (the description of Jesus as he gets in the boat). I’m keeping that part of the sermon. But now the giants we need to slay are racism and gun violence.
    I think I can talk about race in a congregation 99 percent white in Idaho and they love me enough to hear it. It is the giant of the NRA that looms large before me today and will likely get me in trouble. Oh well.
    I guess I’d rather deal with that than the extinction event. But I did just wash my car, so if an extinction event is going to happen, it would be right after that.
    I’m off to PRIDE festival today, where I will get my yearly dose of apologizing to people who have been hurt by the church. There are times when I think this might be the most sacred work I do all year.

    Like

    1. No PRIDE event for me today, but I am officiating a same-sex wedding, or as I like to call it: a wedding. So at least there’s that. Keep on keeping on.

      Like

    2. those LGBTQ children of God who have been so wounded by the church need to have all of us speaking love and acceptance. . . I have spent many years apologizing to the lesbian community for the patriarchy of ‘the church’; and will probably go to my grave continuing to proclaim ‘the truth’. Thank you for spreading the news and offering solace to the wounded.

      Liked by 1 person

  15. I’m holding you all in prayer, as you grieve, ponder, and prepare to proclaim – not knowing how your words will be received.

    For my part, I am hoping that I will hear a sermon addressing this. In the past, usually not; but I have great hopes for my new rector. I think he will not disappoint me.

    I have printed the names of those murdered to share at the Prayers of the People.

    Like

  16. We walk through the Juedisches Museum in Frankfurt, Germany. We read the sordid history of exclusions, pogroms, restrictions, occasional freedoms and, finally the Death Camps. The helicopter hovers overhead. It’s monitoring a demonstration of neoNazis. I remember a tale often told of the person who each time the authorities come for someone, breathes a sigh of relief. Then,one day, the authorities come for her or him. Then I wonder–how far from home am I really? How far is Frankfurt from Charleston? How far is an anti-Semetic culture from a racist culture?

    Little plaques iN the pavement mark the places where Jews once lived. All part of the official German commitment to never forget. And still the helicopter hovers. Still the sound of police cars rushing another demonstrator off to jail.

    I begin to wonder–perhaps we also need to vow to remember. Remember those who resisted, remember those who told their stories even though the telling hurt like hell, remember the Confessing Church–a model of following Jesus by standing in opposition to the state that oppresses, remember the acts of solidarity.

    Still the helicopter hovers. A reminder not to forget. Not here in Frankfurt; not in Charleston or Ferguson or Albuquerque or Atlanta or Anchorage either. And a reminder to remember all those who resisted; all those who spoke out; all those who walked along side.

    Like

  17. I have preached the evils of racism a couple of times already; my people seem to be OK with that.

    I too will talk about gun violence tomorrow as an added layer. Open Carry is now legal in Texas if that gives you a sense of how prevalent guns are in my context. I am going to approach it “As Responsible Gun Owners” and see if I can get at it sideways. How we as Responsible Gun Owners might react. (I am not a gun owner and never intend to be, but I grew up with guns all over all the time.) I’m hoping that I can do it well enough to not get ostracized. We’ll see how it goes. I did a trial run on my FB page to see where the hot spots might be.

    Like

  18. Gals and Pals, I’ve just added this link to the post, but in case you don’t see it there, I had an email from Carolyn Winfrey Gillette letting us know about a new hymn she has written, “They Met to Read the Bible.” Find the text here: http://www.carolynshymns.com/they_met_to_read_the_bible.html
    She also shared a copy with music as a Word Doc; if you might want to use it as an insert or project it, we have her permission. Email me at revgalblogpals at gmail dot com and I will send it to you.

    Like

  19. Finally finished. Taking a deep breath and going for it. I’m preaching as a sub this weekend, starting with a Saturday evening service, and preaching on the Mark gospel and on the Charleston Massacre. Don’t know the congregation, having only been there twice before. Feel free to throw in a prayer for me, as this feels really risky (so I need to reread my own sermon a few times). Have also taken a deep breath and posted it on my blog. So for what it’s worth, I’ll share it.
    http://srsarah.blogspot.com/2015/06/why-are-you-fearful.html

    Like

    1. I was so grateful to get to this church this afternoon and discover that they had already made a list of the nine people who died Wednesday so we could pray for them by name. Prayers for us all as we ask God to speak through us tomorrow.

      Like

  20. I have written my announcements. The suspect was a member of a congregation within my denomination (ELCA) and he was arrested by our city police (Shelby, NC). I will share written copies of our Presiding Bishop’s letter calling us to have difficult conversations about racism.

    I’ve written what I will say during the time I am using for intergenerational stories this summer. (We have very few children and even fewer who are younger than middle school) My words during this time will frame a reading of parts of Birmingham 1963, a fictional account of the 16th Street church bombing, written for children. That will be followed by intercessory prayers that I will lead, commending the victims by name to God and praying for the congregations, families and suspect. (Our regular intercessory prayers are lay led and happen later in worship.)

    I have not yet written my sermon but I am preaching David and Goliath and will focus on racism, naming it as a pattern of sinful behavior, because that connects to the pattern I’ve already introduced of Israel turning away and returning. I’ll recall last week’s story of Saul when I said forgiveness and compassion remain for God’s people and emphasize that what set David apart was that he was not standing up for himself, but for God, and address the “Yes, but” response we are hearing when people try to point to other reasons these nine people were killed. (Saul responded the same way to David)

    Like

  21. I have two sermons spinning in my head just now. The first would emerge from ten spring breaks working with (and walking with) the people of Edisto Island, SC, worshiping with them at Allen AME Church, and receiving the hospitality and inspiration of those who had weathered many storms. (I am also taken by the middle name of last week’s murderer!)
    But, we are having a baptism (rare at our church), so the second sermon would try to connect the joyful sacrament of water, oil, flame, and serious promises we make–all of us, on behalf of the one baptized but also for ourselves as we reaffirm our own baptisms–to strive for justice and respect the dignity of all people” with the cost of discipleship in the 2 Corinthians reading. Not an “insurance policy” to keep us from danger; not a platinum membership card to Heaven.
    I think I will add a candle lighting ritual at the end of the sermon for the nine who died, perhaps carry that flame to the Paschal Candle for the baptism, then move the nine candles to the altar rail at the Eucharist celebration.
    Probably either sermon will end, after the candles are lighted, with the “do you not care that we are perishing?” Jesus answered that question by calming the sea. But he did not command the sea to be evermore calm. Storms will continue. The task is ours.
    Now, to choose and to write!

    Like

  22. I posted earlier, but apparently that doesn’t work from my iPhone.

    Anyway, we have an exercise planned for tomorrow to aid us in discerning what the congregation is thinking in the close-or-whatever future. I was planning to preach all of about 5 sentences to introduce that process, but now I am going to add something about the revolutionary nature of Christian faith and church involvement. And I am using the Gillette hymn and the Presbyterian Outlook prayer – so grateful for all the resources online.

    We went out of town to visit family yesterday and today, tonight our kids are barbequing as we celebrate Father’s day tomorrow and my husband’s birthday earlier this week, and tomorrow I am outta here as soon as church is over to get to the airport, headed for the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention’s Advocacy Days in DC. I am feeling the crunch, but wishing that I were going to be here to host a prayer service later this week — although I would be surprised if 3 people showed up. We had 0 people for lunchtime Bible study on Thursday and 2 in the evening. (And they say they want to stay open???) Martha, we do indeed have similar congregations.

    Like

  23. Sitter at apartment…I’m sitting at Panera Bread because they have wifi and the library closed at 6 pm so I had to relocate. Tomorrow’s service has gone thru several last minute changes, given everything. We had planned 2 skits (for a long time, a congregant wanted to organize this with my blessing) and they are on tolerance, but we also have lighting candles and invitation to church members to bring photos of “father figures” if they wish (which was also pre-planned). It is also Pride month and we had planned an observance using a participatory prayer that had actually been written in light of marriage equality… Given that we are a D.C. area church and open and affirming, this will be appreciated.

    So– everything has been adapted in light of the killings in Charleston…and the candles will be there for anyone to light at the beginning of the service (we are also having service in the round with candles at center). The prayers have been adapted…the skits are happening…and communion.
    And all the music except two hymns were changed– including Anthem– to reflect both lament of what has happened and how far we have yet to go…

    Regarding the sermon– I’m experimenting with Jesus being in the boat just as he was…but “Do you not care that we are perishing?” is gripping my heart….and the sermon needs to be more like a reflection or poetic lament…

    Still figuring things out.
    There is power in lament, naming…but trying to understand how to combine giving a place for collective grief, naming, lament, and just getting to a Jesus-place to process all that has happened in community….

    Memorial service was yesterday…and I’ve been walking around out-of-sorts for a variety of reasons…but at least I am walking and alive…

    And I can’t get something out of my head— the question– “Do we (white folks) expect the black community to fix our own racism?” Or more generally do we expect the victims of injustice to correct or remedy the evils that beset them and the larger community?” Because if we do, that is an unconscionable burden…

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Dee – I have been sitting with that since February. Rev Dr Wil Gafney had a Q&A Session after her inaugural lecture and someone asked her how to fix racism. Her response was something like “OH NO – we have been doing this work for hundreds of years – you white folks need to do your own work on this – our hands are full” It was profound and life-changing and I have heard it in my head 100 times over the last few days. She’s exactly right – and I thank God for having heard it.

      Like

  24. Swirling thoughts here, but I think the bottom line will be, if I’m not affected by the storm, it’s because I am (part of) the storm. For those of us who have a choice, choosing to be in the boat with Jesus means waking up and speaking up.
    I had a marriage to bless this afternoon, so I had to pull out of the maelstrom to write a nice wedding homily for a really lovely couple.
    Now I’m back and the wind is howling.

    Like

  25. Like all of you, I have been challenged by the words to be spoken tomorrow. We have 5 baptisms scheduled which, of course, is a time of great joy and celebration. Figuring out how to address the events of this week while celebrating baptism has been a struggle, but I hope I’ve found a way. I will be quoting Rev. Jacqueline Lewis out of Middle Collegiate Church in New York. She said, “Love is the power with which we can do more than we can even imagine. I am counting on people of faith to put Love-In-Action. Do something, do one thing today, to right a wrong, to communicate a kindness, to create the world we want… A world in which every life is precious.”

    Like

  26. I’m back from a mostly discouraging Presbytery meeting, though the bright spots were bright indeed. And then I’m back from a 16th birthday party for our favorite babysitter, which was partially enjoyable, but fraught with unhappy, over-tired, hungry children (those would be our children). Said children are in bed, asleep, earlier than they have been in months, thanks be to God. Also thanks be to God for supper at the birthday party.

    Now to look at this sermon again. I’m inspired by y’all’s courage and dedication to the Gospel this week. Thank you.

    Liked by 1 person

  27. I have been overwhelmed with all the valuable resources you dear friends have offered this week, as I try to put words in place for tomorrow. Overwhelmed. Wish I could quote you all. This is probably the longest sermon I’ve ever written, and I’m still not sure I’ve said anything worthwhile, but I’m consciously depending on the Holy Spirit to show up and convict of our corporate and individual sins (John 16:8). I’m off to look for that cushion Jesus left behind in the boat …. could use some rest. Here’s the sermon: http://pastorsings.com/2015/06/20/holy-fear-sermon-on-mark-435-41/

    Like

      1. To all my RevGalBlogPals: thank you for your encouraging comments as I tried to find words to speak into the Scriptures for this morning’s service. I truly feel like it’s the 11th hour! As always, God is good and provided me with the message to be shared. Blessings to each and every one of you.

        Liked by 2 people

  28. Here’s mine- part 3 in a sermon series on the Church as the Body of Christ based on the Foundations chapter of the PCUSA Book of Order. This week’s starting point was the statement that the church is to be a community of hope… The question I had to ask was how do we see and embody hope in the light of the week’s events? http://wp.me/psDHQ-N9

    Liked by 1 person

  29. The raw emotion of this past week has been woven in with grieving for the death of a clergy friend, colleague and stated clerk of our Presbytery who died in her sleep at the age of 59. Today’s memorial service was beautiful and powerful and the tears were not just for our friend who died but for the nine who died at Mother Emanuel. I’m rewriting what little of my sermon I had already written to speak to racism and “kindred dwelling in unity” from Psalm 133. Each of you are on my heart this night and tomorrow morning (this morning for our overseas gals).

    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.