Okay. I admit it. Although I am preaching on Sunday, this week has been so busy, I mean SO BUSY, that I have no idea what the readings are. It’s not my intention to be so squirrelly….some weeks are just like that.

It’s also true, however, that I am in week five of a six week preaching series so I don’t even need to know what the readings are for Sunday, because I won’t be preaching on them.

And, more to the point, between now and Sunday, I have a HUGE event, the 150th Anniversary dinner celebration for the church I serve is Saturday night. That is taking all of my attention, for now. So. Good thing I have that preaching series. Which, by the way, I have preached before so I don’t have to do much more than tweak it before I preach it on Sunday.

That said, I am sure each of you have already studied and prayed and meditated on the readings for Sunday. Perhaps you even have some inkling of an idea of what you want to say. MAYBE…maybe…you have already written your sermon…?

Well. Regardless. Here we are. The 11th hour preachers party. And, whether you are preaching from the Narrative Lectionary or the Revised Lectionary (and, by the way you can find a good discussion and some decent perspective on both lectionaries if you scroll back to Tuesday’s posting…) whether you have a good idea or no idea, this preacher’s party is for all of us. We’re here to help one another, pray and support one another, commiserate with one another, celebrate one another.

So, pull up a chair, grab a mug. I have lots of fresh coffee to share, or tea if you prefer.


The Rev. Terri C. Pilarski is an Episcopal priest serving a congregation in Dearborn, MI. She’s been a blogger and member of the RevGalBlogPals since 2006 and blogs at


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

31 thoughts on “11th Hour Preacher’s Party: the, “I have no idea,” edition…

  1. thanks for hosting Terri,
    I am preaching on the RCL, chosen the Acts and John reading, and have no idea what i will preach, and it is Saturday early afternoon here. unfortunately i haven’t been inspired by the readings in the past few weeks, or this week. some admin crap at the moment , and dental work, is taking my energy.
    tomorrow i have only the early service so I can stay for morning tea with them, rather than rushing off to the second service. the second service is hosting a Cancer Council Morning tea fundraiser, so 2 morning teas tomorrow, before going out for lunch to celebrate a friend’s birthday.
    none of which is helping with what to preach tomorrow.
    maybe lunch will help – toasted tortilla sandwiches with tomato, cheese and basil – i will make enough to share.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Started writing my sermon Friday afternoon, and much of it is about relationships (RCL). It’s graduate recognition Sunday and we have a baptism, so those events help! I’m also tying in the story about the Rauschenberg retrospective at MoMA, as an article in NYT spoke of the influences on the artist–friends, lovers and bar buddies. Who wouldn’t want to be able to reference such a group?! Anyhow, I’ll tie Jesus in as one who wants to make sure his relationship continues with peeps and that’s why the Advocate comes and what our relationship with Jesus means/looks like. Or something along those lines, as the rest is yet to be written. 🙂


  3. getting close to midnight Saturday, and i am calling it done , turned out a little longer than usual, but i have plenty of time tomorrow.
    I was thinking about telling a story: Badgers Parting gift, but will leave it for another week.

    blessings on those still writing, or yet to start.

    Liked by 2 people

  4. I was at my second week of Transitional Ministry/Interim Training this week. With a new software program for Southwest Airlines and the rocking and rolling weather all throughout the Midwest on Saturday, I finally got home about 1:30 am this morning.

    I went back and picked up the Thomas story in John and titled the sermon Practicing Resurrction: Day 35! I had written some before I left and so today is laundry, finishing the sermon, and a few errands as well.

    The Great and Mighty OZ (my cat) was quite glad to see me. *#idolovethegreatandmightyOZ

    Liked by 1 person

  5. I am working with Acts today and was originally planning on incorporating information from a recent program on interfaith I attended, but after reading several commentaries I am stuck on the line about Jesus judging and being the ultimate right way. I believe that it is the right way for me and my flock but not necessarily for all and do not like to see it used to justify evangelism, but I am currently lacking explanation for why it doesn’t justify that….Any help would be great.

    I offer strawberries and angelfood cake. 🙂

    Liked by 2 people

    1. I suppose it would depend on how one defines Evangelism. If it means converting others to think and believe as you do, then that can be challenging in multi-cultural context like the community I live in. If, though, Evangelism means welcoming others as Jesus did, with the expansive love of God, then I could go there….

      Liked by 1 person

    2. I preached that one last week and my study beforehand brought out the fact that Jesus says it in a particular way, but not an exclusive way – I am the way… for those who believe in the Father… the trinity – there’s wiggle room in there that I ahd not seen before. I got it out of the NIB Commentary I think.

      Liked by 1 person

  6. back from a fabulous holiday and REVive Iona; straight into preparation for a funeral of one of my beloved old farmers who died while I was on Iona, but they held the funeral over until I could be here for it. So that took care of Monday to Wednesday; Thursday I looked at the readings (NL) and chose hymns; Friday one of my elders died very suddenly – within two hours of taking ill; so yesterday I made 9 pastoral visits to make sure that other elders found out personally and not by a round robin email; numerous phone calls to those who I could not visit and of course a deal of time with her husband (also an elder and retired doctor) then in the evening I MC’ed a concert in our church…
    This morning I watched the opening of our General Assembly (Church of Scotland) while I pondered what we need to do to be the church/ be Christians/ follow Paul’s teaching in Galatians.
    Then another visit with the widower
    Now it is after 5 pm – and I have no words yet – lots of thoughts – but no actual words (and the blessed phone keeps ringing!)
    Trying also to write a brief announcement for those of the congregation who will not have heard of Mary’s passing before worship tomorrow – sigh…

    I made rocky road…. help me out by eating some of it!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Every time I leave town, every single time, I end up planning a funeral while I am away and then officiating at as soon as I return. Every. single. time. (I’m like, what is this????). It’s difficult, right? Anyway, glad you had a good respite to Iona and I hope by now, since I’m responding a while after you posted, that you have some words.

      Liked by 1 person

  7. Preaching on the passage from John. Here’s the image I’m working with, if it’s helpful to anyone out there. Years back, we noticed cracks forming in our dining room ceiling. We brought in a structural engineer, who said it was because of my husband’s office above – more specifically, the weight of his books. We needed to bring the floor up to “library code”! I envisioned the entire upstairs being rebuilt. But all that needed to be done was to open up the dining room ceiling, and “sister” the existing joists that supported the upstairs – i.e. secure a second board to each one, side by side. There was nothing wrong with the existing supports – they just couldn’t do it on their own. They needed help, another by their side, to get the job done. And so do we! That’s why we get the Paraclete, the one called alongside. And we in turn are called to stand alongside others – sistering those joists.

    Hope it’ll preach….

    Liked by 3 people

    1. Thank you for the wonderful image! (Now I think I need to check the ceiling under my “study”…) I, too, am working on John this week, and am at a total loss for something meaningful to say. Maybe these “sistered joists” will lend a spark of inspiration to my ho-hum (so far) sermon.


  8. I’m combining the NT readings and the Psalm. Outline is:
    Intro: Why my son hates Disney movies (too many children who’ve lost their parent, one way or another)
    1. “Another Advocate” – Jesus was the first, Spirit is the second.
    2. What an Advocate does (CASA volunteer example)
    3. We’re to advocate for others – what’s your calling? Where are you to be an advocate?
    Closing: Buechner’s quote about what a calling is

    Liked by 3 people

    1. Oops. In between 1 and 2 is Jesus’ promise that he wouldn’t leave the disciples (or us) alone, as orphans. (Hence the Disney tie-in)

      Liked by 1 person

  9. I can offer s’mores. Our youngest is having her campfire tonight out back. Something she loves to do. And me? What am I doing? Still working something out that will preach. The Unknown God is something I resonate with. It reminds me of a story I heard years ago about a missionary finding a community of people out in some very remote location. As he spoke of Jesus, one of the members of the community responded that he had always “known” about him/God – but never knew what to call him. I think that’s how it went.
    Anyway – UNKNOWING is so much a part of my reality these days…and I certainly have no idea what our congregation situation is going to look like as we continue to walk into the future – one step at a time, but w/fewer and fewer individuals.
    so heading out for a s’more. We’ll see what happens. (And I’m heading to NJ right after the service so I’m trying to move things along.. 😉 )


    1. There is something to be said about processes that lead to unknowing. I read a book, maybe by Radical Wisdom by Beverly Lanzetta, that spoke about the need to “un-know” as a way to create a new sense of understanding who we are as women….anyway, not where you are going, closer to where Wil is going, but intentionally seeking to unknow can be helpful.


  10. I am leaning into shabbat. I got my grades in Monday and had a complete draft by Thursday, and preaching at 5 pm, contributes to a lazy/restful pattern. I’m preaching on what it means to love one another; that our inability to fully see God in each other—or see each other as God—underlies our inability to love fully. I’m using the resistance against feminine God language to demonstrate the way on which for some God can’t be female, which is to be woman or woman-like, because of biases, hierarchies, patriarchies, etc.
    “The gospel says the Spirit is with us already but now will be in us, a deep and intimate bond that can never be broken.
    This Spirit is the Spirit of God; She is God. She is the fullness of God without limits, the Font of Creation, the Fire of Sinai, Water in the Wilderness. She is the one who hears the cries of the battered, abandoned and betrayed, and she is the one who guides and accompanies, saves, heals, and delivers. And, she is the one who folded her majesty into the womb of the Ever-Blessed Virgin and brought forth a life that could not be extinguished by death. It is she who is with us, with us and in us. And yes, She. Jesus spoke Hebrew and Aramaic, and in those languages the Spirit is only “she.” …
    Some might say it doesn’t matter. Any pronoun will do because God is beyond gender. And she is, but we are not, not yet, though we may be on our way. I want to suggest that it does matter and that how we see and describe God has everything to do with how and whether we love one another as Jesus commanded. It matters that we can see God in us and us in God, which is the point of the incarnation. God became human, to be like us, to be with us, to live as us, to love us to and through death, as Jesus commanded us to love each other.
    As long as we do not see each other as fully the image God we cannot love each other as Jesus commanded us to love. And the measure for whether we truly see each other as the image of God is whether we can conceive of God in each other’s image. If your God cannot be female, feminine, or femme because that is too weak, unfit for power and leadership then your love for God and humanity is constrained by your love for masculinity and male power. And anything you love more than God is an idol.”

    Liked by 2 people

    1. This, This, a thousand times this! Thank you for sharing these words here tonight. While I am not sure my congregation is ready to hear them, they sure NEED to hear them. I needed to hear them tonight as well. Thank you Wil Gafney, for your insight, especially this evening.


  11. I am plugging away at a sermon on the Acts passage. I’m thinking of using a youth Bible study I once led as a part of the message. I had the youth go throughout the church building and each one bring back an item to me. The challenge was that I had to use that item to tell them something about God. Some things were easy, a Bible, a cross, but I’ll admit, the toilet paper and pencil were a little harder. Then I talked about how God can be revealed by anything, even the most common basic and overlooked thing. Because God is in all, through all, and over all. I think after that I might again point out that the divide between sacred and secular does not exist. If we are given the Holy Spirit to dwell with us, then all things are sacred.
    Now If I can get the 5 year old to bed and help my 12 year old finish shaving her legs for the first time I might actually get to type before midnight!

    Liked by 2 people

  12. Well. I am back from the 150th celebration dinner. It’s been a long day and a long night, but it’s done and was a great night. I can’t believe I have to go back tomorrow for two worship service, an interment, an adult forum, and a vestry meeting. OMG! Well. Anyway, so it goes. Thanks for joining for the party, I need to call it a night….but, please, keep it going! I’ll check back in the morning.

    Liked by 1 person

  13. Hi all,

    Today we are going to be having an all age service and we will looking at what it is to be Baptist.

    As part of this I am going to be taking off my clerical shirt part way through the service, as one of the Baptist distinctives is the priesthood of all believers, when I asked my youngest what I should wear underneath, he replied rather helpfully, not a bikini!
    We will also be building with Lego.

    Should be a fun service.

    Blessings to you all, Emma

    Liked by 1 person

    1. As a Baptist, you wear a clerical shirt? I like the idea, however of emphasizing the ministry of ALL the baptized with the idea that clergy have role in that ministry as do lay folk.


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