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Half way through the Easter season we are still getting to grips with how everything has changed. How the Resurrection casts light on a new command and on new relationships.

Given all that we have to assimilate after Easter, it is just as well that we have 50 days of Easter in which to begin to grasp a changed reality.

There are discussions on the NL and the RCL from earlier in the week on the blog.

We hope you will also add to the discussions here. Bring what you have, ask for what you need and, together, we shall continue the proclamation: He is risen! He is risen indeed.

44 thoughts on “11th Hour Preacher Party: All the new things edition

  1. going out late this afternoon for a house blessing and staying for dinner. i have told them i will need to leave in time to come home and finish the sermon. currently i have less than 100 words, so lots of writing to go. but first, find my notes on house blessing, and leave in an hour.

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  2. I’ve been traveling for the last 10 days or so and I’m looking forward to a lazy Saturday. Or at least catching up on some writing that is well overdue. But first, I want to get some things on the go in the kitchen so we can eat well his week! My favourite kind of Saturday.

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  3. I woke at 2am. When I was still awake at 2:45 I got up, ran for an hour on the treadmill, and have been drinking coffee and doing sermon prep since 4am. I think I am going to use a sustainable sermon that is mostly a teaching on the Book of Revelation. I am about to take a month off, for a study leave…and that is all kinds of distracting.

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  4. I have had a productive and satisfying first few days back in the parish after my holidays to meet my new nephew. Unfortunately, none of that productivity got the services for tomorrow written so I had better get stuck in today (when all I really want to be doing is finishing my latest craft project!).
    I made blueberry pancakes which I am happy to share, but you’d better be quick – they are disappearing fast.

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  5. Back again, hours after I started. The gift of getting up at 2am (haahaa) is that by 11am I have 1.) spent an hour on the treadmill 2.) spent several hours doing sermon prep 3.) spent some time reworking a sustainable sermon into a new sermon 4.) had breakfast with my husband before he left for work 5.) cleaned the house (as in vacuum, dust, wash floors clean) 6.) and am doing laundry (all the bed linens). The challenge of course is that its going to be long day. At least the sun is shining and the bed linens can dry outside on the line.

    Okay. Now I need more coffee. And another go at that sermon. And maybe some sugar.

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  6. I got a phone call at 6AM to go to the nursing home where a member had died in the early-morning hours. I spent about an hour with the family, came home and worked a bit on lining up workshops for our Synod Assembly in June, and am now ready to think about tomorrow. We use the RCL, and I’m focusing on the Gospel, especially the last two verses: “Just as I have loved you, you also should love one another. By this everyone will know that you are my disciples, if you have love for one another.”

    I’m going to show the Nooma video called “Bullhorn” and then invite people to gather in conversation groups to think about a few questions, such as: What makes it hard for us to hear a message about God’s love? What do we do that makes it hard for others to hear our message about God’s love? WHAT was God thinking when God entrusted US with the message of love? What is one specific thing we can do this week to share the message of God’s love without being a “bullhorn guy”?

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    1. Oh, and I don’t have much food to share until after I’ve been to the grocery store this afternoon. So unless you’re craving Diet Coke and protein bars, you might want to look for someone else who is better prepared.

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  7. Note to self; do not preach 6 weeks out of the Book of Revelation in three years, when it is Easter Season Year C again.

    Although my sermon last week was well received…it was about the difference between suffering for Christ vs suffering that is a part of life. Quoting Bonhoeffer a few days after the anniversary of his death. The prior sermons from Revelation were more expository.

    I have a large funeral this afternoon, fortunately I’m only presiding – two other clergy are each preaching. Plus I found out that my health issues are related to my gall bladder, which is now scheduled to come out May 2nd. So, I’m trying to focus while being in pain.

    I don’t even have an older sermon from Rev 21 to recycle. In prep reading I discovered that the New Jerusalem is a metaphor for the people of God…not a physical city. Another way of talking about the Body of Christ. I keep coming back to the Tower of Babel story, and how the people tried to build a tower up to heaven. I Rev 21 we hear that God is coming down to us, coming down to earth (and already did as Jesus). Mention Earth Day? Tie in proposed new water conservation on the church property? Do I even mention the death of Prince?

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  8. Inspired by an idea in the narrative lectionary facebook group, I’m going to talk about the different ways we divide ourselves – some serious, some silly (ala Team Edward vs Team Jacob). I’ll have the ushers hand out slips of paper that have different “teams” on them – Team Apollos, Team Paul, Team Cephas/Peter – on one side and chants for these teams on the other. The different teams will do their chants, trying to out do the others… And then we’ll all sing the Gloria Patri as our unifying “chant.” We’ve had some heavy sermons the last couple weeks and I thought it’d be good to be a bit playful this week!

    I’ve got yummy potato cakes my hubby made from last night’s left over mashed potatoes. Add some sour cream and salsa and you’ve got a great snack!

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  9. I am speaking about cultural change/shift in my interim ministry setting… linking the cultural shift inherent in Peter’s vision with the cultural shift needed to become the community of faith they say they want to be.

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  10. Just got back from my honeymoon and not very focused on sermon writing…we both really miss the beach! I’m only preaching once this weekend as we have a guest preacher for Sunday, and for some reason that makes it even harder to focus.

    Anyway, trying to preach on creation care using Genesis and Romans 8. Honeymoon included lots of learning about environmental issues so I might use some of that; we also have a blessing of the animals service this afternoon which ties in well. Our confirmands have a “Question Box” to put all their questions that are tangential to our day’s confirmation lesson (if we didn’t have our box, we’d never stay on topic) and we’re planning to have a Big Question Day to talk through all the questions. One of the questions in the box is whether animals go to heaven, so I might start the sermon there and move on to a vision of the restored earth/all creation.

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    1. Congratulations, Laura. Hope the re-entry is gentle..
      Whether animals go to heaven sounds like a good place to start to envisage restored creation.
      I’m mentally storing that question box idea to keep things on track. Thanks

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  11. It’s just past noon here, and I’m settling in to write for the afternoon. Did lots of prep, reading, etc during the week but have nothing actually written yet. Focusing on the Acts reading, on welcoming everyone, on erasing the boundaries that we put up between ourselves and others like God erased the boundaries between Jew and Gentile. So where are those boundaries? American & immigrant, transgender & cisgender, Muslim & Christian… other examples? Ned to find a way to lift up the intentional welcoming that is already a part of my congregation’s culture, while encouraging folks to live out the welcome of God in daily life outside the church. And have it be a sermon to proclaim the Gospel rather than a “do this or else” sort of speech.

    Lots of thoughts bouncing around my head, now to put them in a coherent order. Plenty of tea to share if you’re interested! Happy writing, all.

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    1. Canoeistpastor – lots to work with there. It’s always a challenge, isn’t it, to see the intentionality lived out in the worship space carried into the other spaces of our lives.

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  12. In my reading (and soon writing – on Acts) I am thinking about all ways the church has changed since the early church, both good and bad, but I plan to focus on the broadening, inclusive ways. Rather than saying true faith=doing it exactly this way, I want to talk about true faith as listening for the ways God is calling us to change, to open up, to build connections with others, to learn to be a guest in other people’s space as Peter did. I remember as a teenager in NY going to Bar Mitzvahs, and Passover meal, and sitting in the big Catholic church while my friends went to confession and then up to the altar to pray. I remember meeting people who had active addiction issues, people of different cultures, learning from all of it. In my small ruralish congregation many things have changed as well over time. Now I just need to figure out how to put it into a sermon that will encourage rather than scare people. Oh, and I have Sassy Cow Arctic Mint Fudge ice cream (going fast) and dark chocolate mint M&Ms. Nothing healthy here friends!

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    1. Sylvia – I’ll take some of those M&Ms! I’m starting with the #decolonizeLutheranism movement that has been occupying my newsfeed for the past week or two. If you haven’t seen if yet, check it out 🙂 Perhaps a good reminder to folks that “the way we’ve always done it” isn’t necessarily the way that God is leading us to do it in the future.

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  13. 2:30 in the afternoon here…I won’t really write until later, unless some massive inspiration strikes in the next hour or so, but I’m on the NL and thinking about Belonging. I just watched the movie Toy Story so I could choose a clip of the toys with Andy’s name written on them to use for the children’s time, talking about how that means they belong to Andy, and their job is to do the best they can at making Andy happy…and God’s name is written on us, and that tells us we belong to God and our job is to do the best we can at making God happy. (or something like that.)

    I do think I’m going the guided meditation route for the sermon, interspersed with singing of “You belong to Christ, in whom you have been baptized.” I haven’t 100% decided how that’s going to go just yet.

    Well..okay. I am actually 100% UNdecided. about how it’ll go. lol.

    I noticed that the ice cream shop is opening today for the summer season! So I’d be HAPPY to take one for the team and run over there and pick up your orders….best soft serve you’ve had, and they do dipped cones and sundaes and blizzard-like treats and shakes and malts. mmmmm…..

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    1. Yum! I’ll have something with nuts and caramel, please 🙂

      Lots of church leaders are reconsidering the idea of membership, “belonging” to a congregation… would that be something for your folks to meditate on? Happy pondering and writing, and thanks for the ice cream!

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  14. Well… so… My friend and senior pastor Jill is down for the count (flu or some such monkey on her back) so I am taking her manuscript, praying intently and preparing to preach for her tomorrow. It’s only just a LITTLE ironic that I was voted in as Assistant Minister last Sunday.

    The Spirit has a way of showing up for these things… TBTG.

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  15. I’ve spent the day with the funeral director – a burial this morning in a nearby town (the funeral was on Monday), then another funeral and committal service this afternoon back at our church. I am spent. Had already planned to preach Revelation 21, not because we are following RCL at the moment, but because it sums up the 31-week trek through the Bible we’ve been taking with The Story. Looked back through my files to see if maybe I had ever preached this before, and found two sermons on this text – both of them from other funerals. I’m about funeralled out, I can tell you!
    I’m going for the “all things new” aspect, and even though we have been off lectionary, I am including those other readings in the service, so that I can tie this passage to the gospel and Acts. The good news is that it can be a short homily tomorrow, since there will be a representative of a Bible distribution ministry speaking, too. One of the dear kitchen ladies told me this afternoon I could just preach the same thing tomorrow I had preached at the funeral, since they were all working in the kitchen and didn’t get to hear it!

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  16. It’s 8 pm here in Illinois. I was so proud of myself, having what felt like an inspired outline by Thursday morning! But it has languished since then as I prepared for a memorial service and participated this morning in a dress rehearsal for a Sunday concert, then rushed to the memorial service and reception. Followed by a longish nap! So, now on to the outline–the Acts reading–hoping the Thursday inspiration holds. Last week, we celebrated our EDucation for Ministry (EfM) program. I am exploring Peter’s telling of his vision and explaining his turning point/transformational revelation to the Jerusalem leadership in terms of theological reflection. Deepened meaning as the story is told. Peter and the gang continued to learn and grow as they go about their ministry. We are going forward on defining and discerning our “why”–the vision and values and particular gifts in this time and place that can move us a step or two towards God’s realm. Oh, my, that sounds daunting!

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  17. Almost finished writing, and it’s not quite 9pm! Just need to wrap it up in some coherent way. Went with the Acts theme of welcoming all, not judging. Love everyone. Trust in the gospel of hospitality that the Spirit brings to Peter and Cornelius. And even when the Corneliuses in our lives don’t respond to our invitation of welcome, keep on not judging and leave the door open for them.

    Something something something, amen! Blessings to all who are still writing.

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  18. I have just finished sermon one for tomorrow based on Acts 11. It’s about being storytellers and I hope to get some participation from the congregation otherwise it will fall flat. I posted it at my place. http://randomrevhd.blogspot.com/2016/04/storytellers-acts-111-18.html
    Now to dive into the sermon on John for tomorrow nights joint worship service with our congregation and an African-American congregation. We have done a pulpit swap for 16 years, but this year we are intentionally doing many move events together including a choir swap, mission projects and this is our first joint worship service. Our two denominations are considering uniting and even if that doesn’t happen my dream is that our two congregations will become one!

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  19. Late to the preacher party – very late!

    And very frustrated. So I’m venting here.

    My kids are moving this weekend,and I told them I would help. Thursday just as I sat down to write the sermon, my son interrupted with an argument he and his girlfriend were having over moving logistics. 2 hours later I finally got him out of the house, but the sermon mojo was gone. So much for getting the sermon done before the weekend.

    Now I’m back from two days of helping them. I set clear boundaries about when I needed to leave to get back home (4 hour drive) and I stuck to it. Sat down to write and the phone rings – my son with another issue. Not everything fit in the cars, not all the cleaning is done – what to do, what to do? Ok – he is only 20 and this is the first major move he’s made so I get that he doesn’t know. Tried to pawn him off to dad, but noooo! Hour later, and I still haven’t written down word one, and now I’m in an emotional turmoil. If they just would have done what I said and moved a few boxes here and there over the last few weeks, we wouldn’t have this problem now. UGH!

    Fortunately, I was able to speak through my sermon a couple of times on the way home and thought ahead enough to record it. So mostly I’m just transcribing. I’ll have to scrap the cool powerpoint though – not enough time to finish it and not enough time to set up the equipment in my non-tech churches.

    Ugh

    Argh!

    Thanks for letting me vent. Please return to your regular – hopefully more pleasant than mine! – Saturday evening activities.

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