zeke sleeping
By the time our Preacher Party is over, we will be sleeping peacefully like this guy. Srsly.

Didja see what I did there?  Fancy ll’ alliteration trying to capture the essence of the discussions of the Revised Common Lectionary and Narrative Lectionary posts from earlier this week on our RevGalBlogPals site.  You can read those discussions here RCL: Weird, Fantastic, and Unbelievable and here Narrative Lectionary: It’s all about love (1Corinthians13:1-13)

So now that I have the links posted to the brilliant minds of our sister preaching pals who faithfully explore the texts of the week, it’s time to get down to business.  Today is my first time evah hosting the Preacher Party, which is one of my favorite features on the blog.  So,  WELCOME to this PARTY!   By the time this post goes live, I will have laid out the Preacher Party Brunch:  Mimosas, fair trade coffee, green smoothies, savory and sweet crepes made to order,  farm fresh eggs from my imaginary chickens and vegan bacon, shrimp and cheese grits, toast and jam made from the flour I milled by hand and fruit harvested from my strawberry patch  *also imaginary but still delish* and fruit cups for all.  You can also order from the regular menu. Because, you know, this is my first time hosting this gig,  so I am going all out. For you, dear preachers.  You need the sustenance and pampering!  And there is more, because this all day party will also include complimentary spa packages, candlelight dinners, cleansing yoga, and a SERMON in your back pocket!

So seriously, you can tell I have no idea where I am going right now with MY sermon, but it will include Lydia, the title “Outside the Gates”, a communion liturgy, a pastoral prayer, and a children’s time.  Please let us know how we can support YOU…and let us be sweet to one another as we seek to share Good News to our varied and many flocks.

Let’s  PAR-TAY!

P.S.  A random but important thought.  I have been seeing a lot of comments about the Oxford Comma in the inter webs. Forgive me, I have no idea what comma rules I am breaking, so if you are a purist regarding the Oxford comma, I am begging forgiveness and ignorance.

 

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64 thoughts on “11th Hour Preacher Party: holy, healing, hospitality, heart…

  1. slow lazy overcast Saturday afternoon here. started with a sleep in, grocery shopping, some general ‘stuff’, after dinner it will be time to wrote the sermon, on..?????
    thinking about saying something from Lydia’s perspective, but also want to include the bit about peace in John’s gospel.
    leftovers tonight: polenta to grill and leftover BBQ chicken from lunch.

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    1. Pearl, that is exactly where I am headed. How is it going for you? Peace, Lydia, Gates, Hospitality. I think if I keep typing those words, something will make sense. Can you save some of that grilled polenta for me?

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  2. I am such an Oxford comma purist that I will address that matter first! It’s the comma you place after the penultimate word in a series, before the word “and.” “We are taking the bus with the band, the cheerleaders, and the team.” There have been some hilarious posts on FB demonstrating what happens to the meaning of a sentence in some circumstances when you dispense with that final comma – none of which I remember, of course.

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    1. Now I have to look up “penultimate word in a series”. Hehe. Welcome Robin! So, the Oxford comma in your example is the one after the word cheerleaders, right?

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  3. Now, putting the English teacher in me back to bed… . I am leaving right after church for Interim Training 2 in St. Louis, so I decided to preach on interim ministry tomorrow morning, using John and Mary Oliver’s poem about sweeping out the house to talk about preparing a home for a God. I am addressing two common misconceptions and the reality about the interim pastor — placeholder, impediment, and outside agitator — but mostly focusing on the wonderful potential I see in the congregation, and on my task of helping them to draw that out and begin to focus on a new identity (after 38 years with one pastor.)

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    1. Wow. One pastor for 38 years!!! I did the Interim 1 training. Loved every minute of it. Enhanced my ministry 100 fold. Happy preaching, and happy training!

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    2. LOL perhaps an appropriate use of commas here would be “John, and Mary Oliver’s poem, to talk about . . . “. It sounds like I am referring to a poem written by a couple, John and Mary Oliver. But then, maybe I am . . . . .

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  4. So, it’s 7:50 am in my Time Zone. Good morning partiers! The table is laid for this morning. Unfortunately, I have a funeral this morning, so I won’t get any writing done, but will be checking in and out on y’all. I will bring back lunch from my little piece of New England heaven. But more importantly, how are y’all doing?

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  5. Your smorgasbord sounds much more scrumptious than my cold pop tart and fresh brewed coffee, but on this quiet Saturday morning I am just enjoying the peace. And also am leaning towards a sermon on the peace part of the John text. I’m thankful to hear that I’m not alone in the struggle for a sermon this week. May we all find the words, our own piece of peace, and a little rest too today.

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  6. I too have a funeral today – so focusing on that before I get to the sermon – I am feeling that I need to address the ‘bad’ news of the finance chair at last weeks annual meeting in the sermon this week – it was all doom and gloom – it made us forget that we are God’s people and we need to live that way and not give up and throw in the towel….I am hoping for some inspiration…

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Is your funeral for a member? How about tying in the good news…that even when there is death, we are given new life? Sometimes things have to die so that new ideas and new ways of doing things can grow.

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  7. 8:34 here, the earliest I’ve ever made it to the party. I have zero ideas and zero motivation. I am dealing with the aftermath of getting new floors, a wonderful blessing but moving out and then back into the same house in one week is for the birds! I also have really annoying swelling in my right leg that wont stop, going on day three. With the three littles by myself today. The schedule is hectic- shower, take kids to Aikido (a form of martial arts) lunch, laundry, unpack, pick up deli trays, feed 100 youth dinner, clean up, and somewhere find time to get the three year old a nap and write a sermon. I think I might just skip the shower and sleep another 15 minutes.
    Blessings y’all!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Wow, revhd, this sounds like a crazy packed Saturday. You might want to get that swelling checked out, too (I know, with all that extra time, right?). I hope you caught those 15 minutes extra of zzz’s. Thinking of you, and check back in!

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      1. I managed to get most things done. no extra 15 minutes though! The leg is still swollen and I plan on getting in checked out Monday. Have decided that a sustainable sermon from the alternative Gospel reading will just have to do for tomorrow morning. We have college graduation for one of our adopted ducklings (my hubby’s affectionate term for those young people we have taken into our home to care for during difficult times in their lives) and a dinner following.
        I hope everyone still writing is blessed with words of hope and healing for themselves and their congregations!

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  8. It’s 8:40am and about 10 hours before I normally appear here…I’m trying to think about multiple things at once so that maybe I can go to bed at a decent hour tonight, since I’ve been out late the last couple of nights.
    I’m on the NL, so I have the love chapter…I’ve expanded to include the end of 1 Corinthians 12, so it’s a little more clear that chapter 13 is in relation to spiritual gifts not being reasons to think ourselves special. I’m hoping that by reading it all together rather than starting with 13.1, that will be obvious enough that I don’t have to spend much time talking about it. ha.
    The sermon title is “Essentials of Life” and will, obvs, be about love as the essential. However, it’s also the day when we celebrate the past year of the homeless shelter ministry (the shelters are open October through April), and I’ve decided to put that thanks/celebration/prayers within the context of the sermon. I’m debating about whether to have the sermon be more like a packing list of essentials like those we try to send the shelter guests out with at the end of the season–water bottles, dry socks, hand wipes, kleenex, snacks…but if I give all these things away and have not love, I am nothing. Or something. I haven’t quite worked out how that would work yet, since I just had the idea while I was making tea and I haven’t even had time to drink it yet.

    I also have a funeral today…at 4 in the afternoon. So first up: funeral sermon. My half marathon training schedule says I am to run 11 miles today…but it’s supposed to rain so I’m contemplating doing it tomorrow afternoon instead. It isn’t raining yet, though, so I’m trying to decide if I should hurry up with the tea and get out there before writing, or just go ahead and snuggle up under the covers with the laptop and a cat.

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    1. oooh, Teri, wondering what you decided to do about the run. I LOVE the sermon packing list idea. Wonderfully creative. Blessings on you for the funeral too. I am just back from mine and settling in.

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    2. love reading this, the packing list might be an inspiration, we are celebrating 12 years of the care closet (we give out stuff you can’t buy with food stamps, laundry soap, toothpaste, about 15 items). Thanks.

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  9. Good morning, friends!
    Tomorrow afternoon, I am being installed as pastor of the church where I’ve been since February. I have mixed feelings about it as I embrace both the strengths and challenges in this church. On a regular basis, I have asked God why I am there. The answer I continually get is to “love the people.”
    So my mind is on details such as worrying if there will be enough parking space and what will I wear for the potluck dinner and did I spell everyone’s name correctly in the bulletin. The sermon for tomorrow morning is a big question. I want to preach about Lydia because we so rarely get strong women role models in the lectionary, but I imagine the congregation would rather hear about the peace that Christ gives us and to let not out hearts be troubled.
    I’ll be busy with details and preparation most of the day so probably won’t write the sermon until the hours just before dawn tomorrow.
    A clergy friend asked me yesterday if I was excited about the installation. I hesitated a bit too long and was told it would be a great day for me to enjoy. Why do I find it so hard to enjoy this?

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  10. Preaching on Lydia and Paul. One of my profs likes to talk about “Theological F-Words” – the words that are part of our faith, but that make us uncomfortable or that we don’t like to talk about in polite company – and this story is all about the “E-word.” 10:30 sermon (the big one) is written and I’m just sitting down to condense it into the sermon for the 8:45 service. This is a smaller group that is comfortable doing sermon-time a bit differently, so I’m hoping to get them into groups of 2 or 3 to talk about what excites them so much about their faith that they just can’t keep it to themselves. Practicing evangelism in a safe space. I just need to condense my 20-minute sermon for the 10:30 service into a 5-minute introduction before moving into groups at the early service.

    Once I’m done, I’m heading to a coffee shop to meet a friend – I’m happy to pick up orders for anyone else!

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  11. Thanks for hosting, Karla! Your buffet is making our usual snack table look skimpy!

    I’m re-working a Lydia sermon from several years ago, basically a missional sermon, saying that God was already at work in Lydia’s life before the disciples arrived. It’s a little ho-hum.

    I need to think of a good children’s sermon idea…this church has done an admirable job of integrating children into the regular life of the congregation, but that has meant they receive little direct instruction. I like to make the children’s sermon substantive but fun.

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    1. I will be interested in hearing about your substantive children’s sermon, Monica. (hint, hint) So hard to hit the right note with those.

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  12. Is anyone else singing “Lydia the tattooed lady” in their head as they think of Lydia?
    Just me?
    ok.
    I’m not preaching tomorrow, thank goodness. I just returned home from a meeting of the Board of the Presbyterian Mission Agency. I would ask your prayers for the faithful leaders we are having to fire because of budget cuts and declining revenue. It was not an easy week. But I made it home (despite snow in Denver) and glad to be here.

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  13. Ugh. Just sat down to start writing about 1 Corinthians 13. Reworking an old sermon is extremely tempting right now; I have one on this text from twelve years ago, and it’s hard to imagine that anyone remembers it. But I probably won’t. Title is “Cacophony.”

    I have a graveside service at 2:00. It is windy and pouring rain right now, and expected to keep it up all day, so the family has been talking and decided (since they’re only interring ashes and the funeral home isn’t involved, so there is no tent to be put up) that the whole service will be done from inside a RAGBRAI bus that belongs to two of the family members. That will definitely be a first for me.

    (RAGBRAI: Register’s Annual Great Bike Ride Across Iowa, sponsored by the daily newspaper in Des Moines, which is basically a weeklong party on wheels. Most folks who participate do so with groups, and they generally have some kind of vehicle–often a garishly-painted retired school bus–to carry supplies and serve as “sag wagon” for folks whose backsides need a break from bicycle seats.)

    As sometimes happens when we’re getting too much wind-driven rain, it’s coming in. It runs down the bookshelves on one side of my office. Usually before that happens, we’ve got water in the hallway and sometimes in the fellowship hall, too; but this time, it’s just in here. I need to e-mail the trustees. Last time we got a good rain they asked me whether it was coming in, and it wasn’t. This time it is.

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    1. Oh Sharkie, the rain sounds miserable, the bus graveside service sounds, well, creative. Hope it is goes well. I love the title of your sermon. Blessings on you!

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      1. Well, it quit raining long enough to do the service–but there was a nasty, cold, east wind blowing hard the whole time. We got out of the bus for the service, and then got right back in. Now I’m back at the church finishing up. Sermon was done before I left, and now I’m doing the manuscript copies and printing. All that’s left after that is to copy some stuff I need to have with me next week, when I’ll be out after minor surgery (knee scope). I expect to be back in the pulpit next Sunday, but that means I’ll have to do my studying while I sit home with an icepack.

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  14. I am back from my funeral, and brought lunch from the oceanside community that I serve. I’ve got New England Clam Chowder, Lobster Rolls, fried clams, a nice salad, and if you are vegetarian, I picked up some hummus veggie wraps and corn chowder (vegan and gluten free.) Can I fix you a plate?

    I am going to work a little on my sermon now, so I will pop back in a while.

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  15. The church’s Spring Rummage Sale, done. Conversations about painting and other sprucing up that needs doing, done. Bulletins for now through Pentecost, done. Sermon for tomorrow – not anything near done. Am pairing 1 Cor 13 with 1 John 4… to love and be loved in that oh so excellent way Paul describes requires vulnerability before God and in our community, which is scary… and yet… that same love – when shared in abundance- leaves no room for fear. Something like that. Much noodling yet to do.

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    1. Impressive that you are finished at least with bulletins for the next few weeks. Sounds like your noodling will carry you somewhere. Hope the rummage sale was a blast–I LOVE church tag sales!

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  16. Hello, friends. Just stopping to say that in about an hour I’ll have chicken with ginger curry sauce (a bottled sauce, but sounded interesting enough that I had to try it). And I’ll have rice to go with it.

    My sermon outline is done, on the RCL Gospel. I’m struck by the sense of urgency Jesus must have felt to tell his followers everything he wanted them to know as his time with them was nearing an end. I’m going to start by asking people to remember situations in which their children were heading off (to prom, to college, to somewhere) and even as their car was backing out of the driveway, the parents were still calling out important instructions: “Call when you get there.” “Be careful of icy roads.” and so on. That might help them feel the same sense of urgency that Jesus had when he gave these final instructions. Then a brief look at the messages (love as the bond that connects us to Christ and to one another, the Advocate/Comforter will be with us so we are never alone, and peace that will be ours in spite of a crazy world).

    The sermon will be shorter than usual, because we have a lot of other things going on in the service. Next week is the opening of fishing season in Wisconsin, so we’re doing a Blessing of the Fishing Poles (a takeoff on the European custom of blessing fishing boats). Everyone who will be fishing this year will get a keychain with a Jesus fish to keep in their tackle box or clipped to their fishing vest.

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    1. Hi Barbara! Yum, ginger curry sauce. Sounds lovely. Also, your sermon outline sounds spot on! Blessing of the Fishing Poles is an awesome idea. Is this the first year you are doing it? How many poles do you think you will have? Blessings on you as you bless the fisherfolk!

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      1. We’ve done Blessing of the Fishing Poles for about 3 or 4 years now. Depending on the year, we have anywhere between 12 and 25 people take part. What I love about it is that those who come forward are often grandparents and grandchildren, and the kids are so excited that they will be going fishing with grandpa or grandma.

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  17. It’s 8:42. I have a passable sermon more focused on Paul than Lydia, but riffing on the organic nature of being a follower of Christ…and sometimes, we have to “go outside of the gates” to find where God is calling us. Not too original, but it will be fine. Off to gather up service prayers and communion liturgy.
    I might be able to catch some of the Sox-Yankees game!

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  18. I just realized that I wrote my entire sermon with the larger point in mind, including using a 2 1/2 minute video. And the smaller point doesn’t have video capability. Not sure what I can do to redeem it for the second service…

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  19. About to call it a night. I think I did eight loads of wash today. House picked up and vacuumed, bathrooms cleaned, beds changed, cat taken to vet, myself taken to Target. Somewhere in there I remembered: Children’s sermon! And then my daughter and I went off to a celebration of arts and hope at an Episcopal Church that was once an Underground Railroad station, which made me long for my (closed) diverse urban church.

    I am realizing how very much I need this week off. Even though it’s interim training and therefore a week with pastors talking about church, I am still anticipating rest and renewal — and a week with no teaching or preaching responsibilities. See y’all in two weeks!

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  20. It’s 930pm and I still have nothing written on paper. or screen. but the funeral was nice…dinner was delicious…kitties are purring…i’m considering going to bed and waking up early.

    tomorrow after worship we have lunch–taco bar and ice cream sundae bar–and what I really want is to just say “Paul sort of summed it up, let’s go have lunch now.” ha.

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  21. Late to the party, as usual. Since I drove back from the city, I had a Trader Joe’s stop. So, here is some brie and red wine. I’m going with Acts–sort of a part 3 on the disciples out on their own with the Good News. I have been taken this time around with how both Peter and Paul continue to grow and change as they are led by the Spirit to places they did not expect–to Gentiles, women (Dorcas named as a disciple; Lydia named and open to the story). This week, Paul does not pass by the women at the river to look for the “real” synagogue.

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  22. I’m preaching on John 5:1-18…do you want to be made well? And as I finished writing it, I heard that my dad, who had suffered a “silent stroke” earlier this year, just got the news that his near-inability to walk and his weakness would only worsen as time goes by. We were hoping that there was another, reversible reason for the change in his gait.

    So what I really want to preach is this: my dad, upon hearing the news, went and planted a row of early potatoes. It took all day. He says the tiller is his favorite “walker” and it’s just the right speed. And now he’s retro-fitting the recycling bins so he doesn’t have to carry them to his truck.

    Sometimes healing looks like planting potatoes, one row per day, and then telling your daughter how good they’re going to taste when you dig them up in June.

    That’s what being well looks like in a valley in Wisconsin where the potatoes are now sprouting in the gentle rain.

    The actual, already-written sermon is here http://bethkjoy.blogspot.com and it’s what I’ll be preaching because my heart is a little too tender to be able to speak the other one tomorrow. Maybe on Father’s Day.

    Peace to you and thanks for the 11th-hour conversation!

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    1. I love what you share here about your dad planting potatoes, and rearranging recycling bins. And I understand about tenderness (I’ve got stuff going on as well that makes it tough to preach certain messages). There will be days ahead when the potatoes can feed the soul, and at least you’ve made the connection with the text to be able to recall it. It has moved me this morning as I read it.

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    2. Sending you with love and prayers to soothe those tender places, Beth. What a beautiful strong courageous story about your dad.

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    1. Erin, just seeing this in the morning. I hope the sermonizing flowed, and that God’s mercies are new to you this morning. Take care and preach on!

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