Whether Pentecost is your favorite Sunday of the year or falls somewhat farther down the list, it’s here! (Well, almost. On Sunday it will be here).

Photo by Anne Andert, Faith Lutheran Church, Janesville, WI, 2014
Photo by Anne Andert, Faith Lutheran Church, Janesville, WI, 2014

Be sure and review the thoughtful posts and comments from our Tuesday posts: Revised Common Lectionary and Narrative Lectionary. There is also a thread on the RevGalBlogPals facebook page with lots of creative ideas, some of which you can implement at the last minute. Not a member of the facebook group? Just send a request. Let’s share ideas and thoughts here, too.

The snack table is spread, full of Pentecost-y treats. Help yourself!!

 

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Monica Thompson Smith is a Presbyterian Church (USA) minister, serving as a pulpit supply preacher in South Central Texas. She is a contributor toΒ There’s a Woman in the Pulpit.

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RevGalBlogPals encourages you to share our blog posts via email or social media. We do not grant permission to cut-and-paste prayers and articles without a link back. For permission to use material in paper publications, please email revgalblogpals at gmail dot com.
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70 thoughts on “11th Hour Preacher Party: Pentecost Edition

  1. I get to be first!! because it’s still Friday. haha.

    I’m pondering 1 corinthians 12.1-13 and the business about gifts/ministries/activities, all activated in people by the Spirit for the common good.

    I’m going to go to bed thinking about “wonder twin powers–activate!” and then try to get past that so I can actually write a sermon that people will understand what I’m talking about. haha.

    I’m leaving town for three weeks after church on Sunday, so all the food I have is super random stuff that needs to be eaten…feel free to poke around and grab whatever looks good. πŸ™‚

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    1. I understand Wonder Twins Power!! But yeah, maybe not appealing to all ages.

      We also have the random-food-that-needs-eating problem, so we don’t have to pack it in a box and move it! Enjoy your trip.

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  2. I’m doing the birthday of the church thing for the kids this week, which is unusual for me – I don’t think I’ve ever referred to Pentecost that way before while leading worship, and I never have the children’s sermon finished this early!

    So, the “grown-up” sermon has yet to be written. Too many ideas to fit into just one sermon… To start, I plan to talk about the Spirit bringing us passion and life and unity, and then name some specific groups that seem to be at odds but that God can bring together (Republicans and Democrats, green card holders and natural-born citizens, Christians and Muslims, young and old, male and female… other suggestions?) Not sure which of the other idea possibilities will finally make it in to the sermon to be preached this year, but excited to find inspiration from others throughout the day!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks for the children’s sermon prompt…I’m still thinking about what to do. I have a suspicion that this church has not been big on Pentecost celebrations before, so I may need to be pretty basic.

      Grown-up sermon sounds like it’s coming along in your head.

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  3. Saturday evening, dinner just on the stove and here is the sermon at present
    What difference does the Spirit make in our lives?
    Fear – see Romans
    Spirit as advocate/peace/
    Children of God – confidence and joy

    Last night [Friday] was our family service and we did Pentecost there as well – paper planes were a hit. i had a whistle – a wooden one, and asked what it was? they told me a whistle
    but where is the noise?
    you need to blow in it [with lots of offers of showing me how]
    just as the whistle needs breath to do what it was designed to do, we need the Spirit, the breath of God to be who we are made to be.

    while there are rarely any children on Sunday mornings, for the [children’s πŸ™‚ ] story tomorrow i am doing Pentecost popcorn. one kernel of popping corn in a spoon with a drop of oil over the flame of the Christ candle. i talk about when we have popcorn – movies and parties. Pentecost is the best story ever – imagine the special effects for this story; and Pentecost is the birthday of the church , so party time. i also talk about the change on the kernel of corn form hard dry and inedible to soft , tasty and edible – all by the action of the flame. what changes does the spirit make in our lives?

    then a congregation meeting to approve the budget, and a fundraiser morning tea for the Cancer Council. at least both churches are worshipping together tomorrow.

    time to check on dinner – pumpkin and Ricotta canaloni and crusty sour dough bread

    Liked by 1 person

    1. ooohhh….. pop corn!!
      hmm… I might develop that one – I had been going to go birthday cake… but pop corn – yeah! I have the kernels, and a machine that makes popcorn with hot air – the wind… the heat … the change… yes – that might work!! (This also means I don’t have to either bake a cake or go out to the store to buy one…)

      Liked by 1 person

    2. I love the whistle idea, Pearl, and it is just the link I needed to pull the bits of the family service togther. Thank you

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    3. I remember a Pentecost Sunday when the pastor served birthday cake and punch as the Communion elements. Did not go well. The custodian was angry for weeks about having to shampoo the carpet to get all the cake and icing out! But the whistle and the popcorn, yes! I may change what I had in mind for children and steal the whistle idea! Much more fun that talking about the Tower of Babel!

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  4. Saturday morning – we have been out to the plant sale and got lots of lovely bedding plants
    now I’m sitting at the pc seeking inspiration….

    and seeking….

    I Cor 12…. plus Acts 2

    what new thing can I say?!

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    1. at college, candidates for ministry preached once in their final year at the weekly chapel service. i got Pentecost week. what new thing indeed, and with the faculty there! that was the first time i did popcorn – I figured i couldn’t dazzle with theology or exegesis, but i could do something different πŸ™‚

      Liked by 1 person

  5. a person in another Facebook group just put up some questions for worship this Sunday:
    Last minute ideas: Pentecost Conversations of Faith: Generate conversations of faith by rolling the dice and discussing the question.
    1. What is something that brought you joy this week?
    2. What is something that you are hoping for in the next few days?
    3. Where do you feel closest to God?
    4. Where have you been this week that was interesting?
    5. What is something that helps you keep going in your faith?
    6. Who is someone that has inspired you as a follower of Jesus?

    i am thinking i might print these out on strips of paper, and have everyone pick one on the way into worship – or a reverse offering basket.
    almost 9 pm Saturday night – i must write rather than procrastinate.

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  6. Short sermon tomorrow. We have three music students — two singers and our organist – graduating from Oberlin Conservatory — and tomorrow is their last day with us, with two solos and special organ selections. My sermon is about how the Holy Spirit speaks comfort, challenge, and empowerment, especially through music, and calls us to prophesy in all kinds of ways.

    I spent yesterday at the Lutheran Synod Assembly. Best parts? Running into people I know from other contexts, and getting to hear one of my church members express her genuine concern about the same things that are becoming clear to me about the extraordinary privilege and insulation of our congregation. (Quite the other end of the spectrum from my prevuous place!)

    I have had so many distinct congregational experiences in such a short time that my head is spinning from trying to understand the distinct personalities, needs, and calls of each. I don’t remember discussing this in seminary . . . .

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    1. what a blessing you are to them! And what a blessing to have a church member with open eyes and awareness *and* willingness to speak the privilege out loud. That is better than starting from nothing. Enjoy the music, too!

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  7. It’s morning. I am one sleep, one worship service, and one meeting away from vacation. !!!!!!
    This makes it hard to focus on the one 12-mile-run, one sermon, and one packed suitcase I need to get done first. lol.

    I’m heading out to run this morning at the same time the race will be (8am) as a practice. I’m so tired that I wish I was going back to bed with a Bible under my pillow so I could call it sermonizing! Instead I will pray for inspiration out on the road…

    I have Cinnamon Toast Crunch, and milk, both of which need to be used before tomorrow, so please have some sugary pick-me-up!

    Liked by 1 person

      1. omg, really?? I will have to be on the lookout to see if it’s in the UK.
        When I lived in Egypt and my dad came to visit, I asked him to bring a suitcase full of cinnamon toast crunch, and the cheese packets out of kraft mac-n-cheese. LOL. It’s been 10 years since then…and I still eat one of those things. πŸ˜‰

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    1. Have fun on your run (the concept is a little beyond me, but surely people must enjoy it, right?). I hope you can fit in a little nap at some point. We’ll be here when you get finished with the to-do list and are ready to sit down and sermonize.

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  8. sermon finished. Transformed into you
    i put the questions mentioned above early in the service, to be discussed in pairs – one minute each person – we will see how it goes.
    I am feeling like my preaching is stale, but I have 2 weeks off preaching, one week annual leave from Friday, then a weekend off – one of two allocated each year. Hopefully the week’s leave will be a good break. The first few days include a family reunion for my husbands family , including scattering of half his fathers ashes on the family farm. Later in the week we have 3 nights booked by the Lake in a cottage.

    the kettle has just boiled, and i am going to enjoy the virtual Cinnamon Toast Crunch with some camomile tea.

    Liked by 3 people

    1. pearl, this is a wonderful sermon! i wish I could be there to hear you deliver. May your people be blessed by these inspired words.

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  9. Good morning from the U.S. Central Time zone, preachers! I have pretended to sleep late (as in, I was only dozing due to constant kid traffic in and out of the bedroom). Children’s sermon has got to happen today. The grownups are getting Babel and Pentecost as contrasting stories. We have a few errands to accomplish, and a few tasks. Yesterday was pretty full, so hopefully we can be restful today as we do things.

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  10. Thanks for the popcorn idea! I’d been thinking along the lines of having a bowl of vinegar and then inviting the kids to each put in some baking soda, so that we would then talk about how the spirit bubbles up in all sorts of ways. Not sure of which way I’ll go yet, but glad for the options.

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    1. At Science Night at our kids’ school, they had small water bottles with vinegar in them. Then put baking soda in a balloon. Fasten the balloon over the neck of the bottle, then hold the balloon up. The resulting gas (carbon dioxide? I think?) blows up the balloon. Pretty cool. You’d need to experiment with the right proportions of vinegar and baking soda, but it would be a little more visible to all.

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      1. if you write something on the balloon when it is blown up… then let it deflate, you can’t see the writing… then the baking soda/vinegar also reveals a message!

        Liked by 1 person

  11. I don’t know if I’ve ever found so many ideas in one Preacher’s Party that I want to incorporate into our service! Must find a focus and narrow things down.

    I have come across the “we can’t help it; we simply must act” idea in a few places this week, and it’s made itself at home in my mind. I have tried to share that message in other settings over the past year; so pulling it all together on Pentecost seems right.

    I’m going to get out a candle and try the popcorn thing at home. I would love to have it carry me through a part of my sermon; I can imagine myself talking about how the Spirit blows us out of our worship space into the streets of our community to notice what we find there and respond with love. As I speak, I would put a popcorn kernel over the flame and just keep talking until it pops. Then talk about how the popcorn didn’t get to say “no thank you, I’ll just stay here in my cozy little kernel.” Instead, the flame channeled heat and energy, and the kernel had no choice but to be launched into the world. And we too have no choice but to be sent out by the Holy Spirit into places where God’s love is needed.

    For the children’s message, I’ll read the book “The Day God Made Church.” And if I get the ambition to bake (or drive to the store), I might have mini birthday cupcakes to give them. Or maybe mini-muffins, which aren’t as much fun but are much less messy.

    Liked by 1 person

  12. I’m working with 1 Corinthians 12. Pondering a parable, perhaps one in which each of the kids in a large family receives exactly the same Christmas gift, even though each one is involved in different activities and thus *needs* something different to be able to do what they are called to do. We’ll see.

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    1. I like it! I’ve never written a parable. I’m afraid I would fall into the temptation of wanting to explain it rather than letting it do its work.

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  13. After watching the excruciating debates of the UMC General Conference this week, I’m feeling the need for some hope. So I’m planning to tell a series of stories from church history–times when the church was confused/mistrusting/split, times when the church messed up, etc. And then maybe end with the Pentecost story, where the Spirit sends out these people with the Gospel–human people, who speak different languages and have different perspectives and can mess up. And somehow, despite all that, the Gospel keeps spreading and the Church keeps learning how to be faithful, all through history, up to now.

    If I were doing the children’s sermon, I’d totally use the popcorn idea.

    Liked by 3 people

    1. I’ve only followed from a distance, but it sure sounds painful. I like your idea of using church history to bring some hope.

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  14. It has been a beautifully sunny day on the West coast of Scotland and we don’t get a huge number of those so I have made the most of it by walking along the beachfront and reading in the garden. I now feel relaxed enough to write up the service for tomorrow but it is an all age service followed by Christian Aid lunch so no sermon – just a few talks to the children and they seem well in hand after using some of the great ideas shared here. I think this must be the most relaxed I have been on a Saturday in quite some time. It makes me wonder what I have forgotten.
    I hope your preparation goes smoothly wherever you are

    Liked by 1 person

  15. Checking in at our lunch break. We’ve procured new books from the library, made an unplanned stop at the auto parts store (turn signal light bulbs out), and gotten “treats” from the convenience store/gas station. (potato chips for one, cheetos for the other). Still on our list for this afternoon: changing those lightbulbs, which I’m sure will prove more difficult than it should, washing the car inside and out, and washing out the trashcans (things you never think to do until you are moving).

    Oh, and yes, the sermon will need some attention.

    How are y’all doing? What can we do for you?

    Liked by 1 person

  16. Hey, Pentecost is trending on Twitter!

    It’s Music Sunday at my church, so my primary responsibility is to read scripture and pray. I’ve engaged my daughter to read part of the Acts passage in Japanese (she is just back from Junior Year Abroad), and we’re both pretty excited to add that to worship.

    I’ll admit that as much as I love preaching on Pentecost, I don’t mind having this Saturday free to work on a keynote I’ll be making on Thursday to the Pittsburgh, PA, chapter of the International Association of Women Ministers, a group that long predates RevGalBlogPals. I can’t wait to hear more about their history and ministry.

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    1. Enjoy your Saturday off, except that you’re still working! I’m looking forward to hearing about this other group.

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  17. Pentecost is also Confirmation Sunday at my church, and three lovely young women will give the “sermon” from scriptures they have chosen. I will introduce them with the Acts 2 quote from Joel and borrow very heavily from Matt Skinner’s comments on workingpreacher.org about the role of prophecy in the Body of Christ. But the real fun is that we will baptize one of these young women an hour earlier, borrowing the sanctuary and baptistery of a neighbor church because she really, really, really wants to be immersed!
    I made a chocolate cherry dump cake last night, and since we are on our way to three graduation parties, we don’t really need more cake at home, so help yourself!

    Liked by 1 person

  18. Good day fellow preacher party-ers! I am trying to buckle down and really work on my sermon but there are just too many distractions.
    I just got a phone call that has changed my life for the next several days. An adoptive family from our congregation is in the process of adopting twin girls. They were both born early and addicted. They were born on March 30th and the adoptive mother has been in the other state with them from birth. One of the twins is healthy and doing great, but the other is still in the NICU and struggling. They have petitioned to have the cases separated so that the healthy baby can come home and the adoptive mom can stay to be with the one in the hospital. One state has approved. Alabama just got the paper work Friday so they may approve as early as Monday, but it will probably be later. My 11 year old daughter and I will be driving down with the adoptive father and their 2 year old son to hopefully bring the healthy baby back to Alabama this week. We are leaving right after worship. This leaves me in a tizzy and my hubs to care for our youngest two by himself this week, with my parents coming Thursday for the youngest two’s dance recital. Chaos does not begin to describe it!
    Pray for a safe journey and quick action on the part of Alabama (I know states are often slow on these things) Also, pray that I can come up with words for tomorrow because right now, I got nothing!

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    1. How very exciting! Our oldest was in the NICU for quite a while, and many of her fellow patients were born addicted. Incredibly sad to listen to those poor little ones crying. You will be on quite a mission–prayers of all kinds for the journey.

      And I can see why you’re distracted from the sermon!

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  19. I’ve got enough words/pages. But they are pieces of two different sermons with no connective tissue. The hole between the two ragged sides is the shape of my elder kitty unexpectantly put down this morning. Fortunately I have until the 5 pm service. I have to read the morning lesson in Hebrew but I think I can manage that. I have already eaten a burger and fries and am craving chips…Sigh.

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    1. Oh, I’m so sorry about your kitty. I’ve done the two unconnected sermons before, without extenuating circumstances, so yours is certainly understandable. Holding you in prayer. (Why is junk food so comforting, anyway? That seems unfair).

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    2. I have sometimes done 2 short sermons, with a bible reading in between, so the lack of connection doesn’t look as obvious. If it’s on the same reading, I might split the two with a hymn.

      Liked by 2 people

    3. Hoping the cat sized hole was filled in your need, even if it opens up again as you grieve. Peace be with you in your preaching and leading.

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  20. Sermon is coming along, talking about the fire of the Spirit, bringing life – and acknowledging that fire can also bring destruction. But sometimes, out of that destruction, can come new life (talking about forest fire, and a nearby congregation that lost their original building but have been able to rebuild and grow). The Spirit is at work even when we can’t see how in the moment. Our response is to be faithful in the meantime – whether the Spirit’s fire is immediately positive or negative, it is likely to be terrifying, but God is still present there.

    Something like that. I want to talk about how the Spirit unifies us as well, but haven’t figured that out yet. I guess so far the sermon is on recognizing the activity of the Spirit, and what’s missing is how we respond… so that will need to be added before I conclude.

    Just settled in to my favorite coffee shop/wine bar for some more writing. Let me know if I can get you a drink or a delicious baked good!

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    1. yes please on the drink and the baked good, please! It sounds like it’s moving along well. The Spirit is terrifying! That’ll preach.

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  21. Hello Gals and Pals! I don’t often chime in here because I don’t often preach, but our new (first woman!) lead pastor doesn’t mind sharing high holidays, so as one of the leaders of our confirmation class, I am up tomorrow with a 1000 word sermon (about 1/2 my normal) – we’ll baptize 2, confirm 5, and have a couple of beautiful music pieces in our combined service. It’s a lot, I spent all week coordinating it (seven different languages for the Acts reading, all congregation members!) and just wrote the sermon today.
    But my mind has been distracted for the past several days by our UMC General Conference, and specifically the harm being done, once again, to our LGBTQI members and clergy. Watching bold witness, seeing one of my seminary pals get ordained by her peers since the church won’t, hearing violent words being spoken whenever anything comes up that may even sniff of equality, wondering how much international delegates have been prepped by conservative US folk to stand up and say things they might not even understand in nuance, etc. etc. etc. I am sick. With two of my three children identifying as non cis, what do I as a clergyperson do? Will it ever change? It’s like a car crash I just keep watching over and over, hoping the end result will be different, but it never is.

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    1. Your day tomorrow sounds fantastic, and I’m glad to hear that your lead pastor is generous in sharing the pulpit. You have my prayers during this tender time in the UMC.

      Liked by 1 person

  22. 8pm and I’m back….still unpacked and house uncleaned, but most of the rest of the list done. Except the sermon. obvs.

    For some reason, the past 12 hours have not provided any new ideas on that front.

    Guess I should spend some time with the blank screen and see what happens….

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    1. I keep wanting to use references to Captain America – Civil War… which would resonate with exactly 5 other people in the sanctuary. So far, resisting…this is when I want to open a second worship service specifically for geeks.

      Liked by 1 person

  23. I’m back also, trying to put the final touches on my brief sermon for tomorrow. One of the ways I distracted myself today was a visit to a nearby town that has a yarn shop and a food co-op within 2 blocks of each other. I have a few kinds of fair trade chocolate to contribute to the treat table.

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  24. hmm – somehow didn’t get my post up earlier. Oh well.

    Retreat today until 3, then a nap, and now am hoping the Spirit blows in…….. ha! Pizza on the way – help yourselves. See you later, late night partiers.

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  25. Big day tomorrow–Pentecost, the Feast of San Isidro and Live at Five’s last Sunday worship. My heart is heavy. No manuscript sermon–the community will want me to preach from the heart (I know, I know–manuscripts can come from the heart but mine is a largely hispanic community and they are story tellers at heart). We will worship outside–on the acacia (aka ditch, aka irrigation canal)–and then have a big party afterwards. The Acts story really fits but needs to be formed into a sermon that takes the people from despair to hope. You can watch it all on Facebook through Livestream tomorrow at 5 pm Mountain time. I know that God is inviting us into something wonderful and set firmly in the future–the challenge is to preach both to heavy hearts and God’s unending call to hopefulness. Ideas, prayers, stories welcome. NOW

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  26. Preachers, I’m calling the sermon done and calling it a night here. May the Spirit move in and through you this Pentecost day.

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