wittenberg doorWelcome to this week’s Preacher Party -(*and thanks to Marci Auld Glass for the title). Whether you are preaching from the NL (discussion here) or from the RCL (discussion here),whether you’re commemorating 500 years since the Reformation or celebrating All Saints, you are invited to bring what you have and to ask for what you need.

As ever, the texts confound and confuse, enlighten and inspire – and we are tasked, with God, to allow them to speak with power into the world and into our communities today. By sharing some of the wisdom and confusion here, we can help each other in that task. The table is set so that all may be fed by the Word of Life.

Liz Crumlish is a Church of Scotland Minister currently working on a National Renewal Project in Scotland.  A Board Member of RevGalBlogPals, one of the instigators of Spill the Beans and contributor to There’s a Woman in the Pulpit, Liz blogs at journalling

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35 thoughts on “11th Hour Preacher Party: Nailed It! *

  1. NL, so Solomon and the Temple, it is almost 9pm on Saturday evening and about to start writing. the plan is a little history of where we are up to; building the temple and forced labour – just as the people were warned of when they wanted a king; Festival of Shelters; and where do we sense the presence of God. or at least that is what i think i am writing.
    i had in mind a short story by Robert Fulghum, it was about how we need to look after our possessions to the point that sometimes they own us rather than the other way round.but i can’t find it.
    Friday Night family church i asked the children what they saw in the church that was special, they are very observant, and what it means to worship God. their enthusiasm and awareness of their surroundings is wonderful.
    now to write something that is meaningful for the Sunday morning people, a much older demographic.

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  2. NL here – and having now reached the point in our application for Path of Renewal* to add some more detail for the congregation it feels like today’s reading feeds into that.
    So I have extended it a little, adding in the rest of Solomon’s prayer that reminds them of God’s Covenant Promises and God’s constant love and provision.
    I have the notes I made at our PoR evening a couple of weeks back, and some ideas for what and how we build the church. Sermon title: Our Buildings, Our People, Our Future.

    *(a movement not a programme/ moving us forward to renewal and growth…)

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  3. It has been a week crowded with unexpected demands, so the sermon is still little more than a mish mash in my head. We’re celebrating the Reformation, so somehow it will go from the story of Martin Luther to what does it mean for us to be a reformed and always being reformed church today — in an affluent, white suburb in which one of the most common refrains I hear is , “We can’t DO anything about [insert anything].”

    This morning the elders and deacons are launching our renewal process via the Center for Parish Development in Chicago by engaging in conversation around ten possible areas of renewal to see where they believe the church should direct its focus for the next several months. My job is mostly to stay out of the way. I’ve been involved in this conversation 2x in different settings and it has been a rich and wonderful experience both times, so I’m excited for the participants. I’m also hoping that the sermon reveals itself, because I’m going to be really tired afterward!

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    1. Ditto. Crowded week, mish-mash, and white (mostly) affluent congregation wringing hands about not being able to do anything…So–reformed and reforming we are. Off to an anti-racism event in the middle of this day; sorting out the sermon will come later. RCL here, so I’m musing about Moses and his death that left the reforming of Israel in different hands for a future he didn’t see.

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  4. I’ve been doing parts of the Exodus story this month and am using 10 Commandments tomorrow along with Eph 2:8-9 and the Great Commandment in Mark. Doung Reformation. What it meant, how it has shaped us, what it means to still be reforming g. Talking about Church being at an axial moment today in which none of us really know what the Church will like. Then, as ourch congregation will vote on a budget that will either close us at Easter or see us through the year (but probably not beyond), I hope tie it to us. That is the part that is harder though obvious. Now I wish I had chosen Romans 8:35-39. I will end with that. Just decided. It is a difficult time. I will either see my time taken down to 25% with no insurance to staying 50% with them paying half of the cost of insurance. I take a moderate to huge hit. I’m feeling widr range of emotions, including feeling stuck due to family consideration. Closing is what church needs to do but it is hard on all of us.

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  5. Reformation and confirmation rite for three confirmands during the service. I will be using both scripture/reformation themes interspersed with each of the confirmands reading their faith statements. Sermon begins with the significant day in the church, Church, and lives of confirmands and ends with the reminder that all of us are free to live in grace and share it, free to be re-formed, free to love and serve your neighbor.

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  6. Following Narrative Lectionary and the building of Solomon’s temple. Following the overall sweep of God’s people housing God as Working Preacher podcast suggested. So much to try and weave together with Reformation and Solomon and the sweep of church history! Thinking of you all.

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  7. One Reformation sermon, on Jeremiah, is mostly written, following how Jeremiah spoke out against an authority and institution to name the new thing that God was doing, that Luther followed in kind, and that God’s new work is not yet completed in us, but ongoing. I will be preaching that sermon in a university chapel service on Monday.

    I haven’t yet written tomorrow’s sermon but I am leaning toward Psalm 46 and the ways that God and faith anchors us against the sense of chaos that surrounds us, and, in the words of Walter Brueggemann, I think, “permits a different response’ than fear. I’m in North Carolina, but today, in two towns in Tenn. white supremacists have planned rallies and residents and clergy are standing together to provide a different witness. Check out #murfreesboroloves for what they’re doing. My great-grandmother and grandmother were from the other town, Shelbyville, and while I have never been there, the events still feel close to me.

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  8. Five days of vacation ended this morning. I wrote a sermon before I left about reformation and faith. (We are introducing our new WHY statement and this week is Hands of Faith.) However, I sense it will be undergoing major changes sometime today.

    We have our all community open house this afternoon and so most of it will have to wait until after that. One of my lifelong questions/pursuits/quests is to understand “how” people make those next steps needed to continue to evolve into being more human.

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  9. Reformation readings here, and a sermon that explores our Reformation family tree in a shared ministry congregation that includes Anglicans, Lutherans, Presbyterians, and United Church of Canada (Presbyterian, Methodist, and Congregationalist roots). We will look at how our denominations evolved, but then focus on what brings us together/what we hold in common.

    Sermon is written, but I need to re-read/edit it at some point today to make sure that I don’t bore the congregation and put them to sleep. I’ve tried to take a story-telling tone, but I have to remember that not everyone gets as excited over church history as I do.

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  10. I’m using the Matthew text from the RCL, along with a bit of Reformation thrown in. Starting a series (of a sort) about Moving Forward in Hope. We’ll be having stewardship Sunday in a few weeks and realized there was kind of a movement in the texts and the events from some back to basics/foundational stuff (Reformation and the two big commandments), through more recent history (All Saints), through what we are doing now and where we want to go (stewardship). I’m a Methodist, so we don’t really do Reformation most of the time (we came out of the Anglican tradition, so a parallel movement), but the 500th anniversary seemed important enough to mention and I like the idea of tying it in to Jesus getting to the heart of the faith (since I see some of what Luther was doing as trying to return the church to its foundations). Not really sure exactly how it’s going to tie together, but we’ll see. I also have a volunteer willing to play Martin Luther for me, if I can get some sort of small script together, but I’m afraid I may have put things off too much…

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  11. I’m struggling a bit over here. Stewardship series on Becoming More starting at church #1 and I gave them the broad title “Becoming More….Like Jesus” after reading the Matthew text (RCL) on the Great Commandment. I can’t seem to narrow myself down. I am a midweek writer and never got to it this week, so that is part of the problem. And my parents are on an extended visit – they were to go home last Monday but my dad has been in the hospital all week with aspiration pneumonia and low oxygen levels (he has COPD). So that along with two parishioners in the hospital, events/meetings almost every night, wasband (who takes care of family food needs and some animal care) out of town has left me quite discombobulated! Anyway, trying to say being like Jesus means going on to perfection (Wesleyan), becoming “little Christs” (Lutheran) but most of all, just loving. Ugh. Pablum. Guess I have more work to do!
    My mom is making zucchini bread downstairs, I offer that and some of the apples we picked last week!

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    1. Dianne, sorry you have so much going on – all of it important and unavoidable. Sounds like you’re embodying ” becoming more”!
      Love the sound of zucchini bread.

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  12. All these possibilities and I’m not doing any of them! Our 2 parishes have a combined service on the 5th Sunday and I’ve decided to use the opportunity to introduce laying on of hands for healing which hopefully will become a regular 5th Sunday occurrence. Praying it will go down well. People seem excited about it.

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    1. Pat, I love that idea. I have a friend who is dying, and her husband has been writing very eloquently (on a CaringBridge blog) of their last days together. He devoted a whole entry to touch, and how important touch is in healing. I think healing ministry is something we need more in the church! I am sure it will go well.

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  13. This Sunday is our pledge Sunday and since it is a 5th Sunday when I don’t have to preach, I was able to get our local United Way Director to come speak about stewardship in the community. I’m still doing the Children’s Sermon and was thinking this would be the time to introduce the Reformation. Does anyone have good ideas? I will be doing a sermon later in the evening for our local retirement village, but haven’t decided if I’m going to reuse a sermon or write something. It’s only 5 pm my time, so plenty of time to make that decision!

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  14. Me … still not sure where I am heading … It has been a busy personal week (a good busy) … now it is cold and wet and I am craving sleep. But alas … tomorrow is Reformation … I do have the kids moment planned. I’ve been thinking about Luther on his knees praying … … the image of him putting forward 95 propositions for consideration, to be discussed. I can’t seem to get the image of Colin Kaepernick (confirmed Lutheran) out of my mind An activist, a man of faith, kneels to bring to the public attention … sins of our time … the sins of our church … racism, discrimination … The church is called to be reformed … to serve … to seek justice …
    Alas …

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  15. We had a great conversation about church renewal today. I was disappointed that only 14 of the 27 invited showed up, but they demonstrated that numbers aren’t everything. Fascinating: We broke into two groups to work through our ten questions and came up with identical prioritizing of three of them — all having to do with leadership development, handling conflict, and growing successful ministry teams. I think I’m going to be preaching and teaching a lot about gifts for ministry in this call.

    And now I have an outline for a Reformation sermon (“Imagine that you are living in western Europe 500 years ago . . . ) and for an adult class on the Belhar Confession, and have come down to join my family for the OSU – Penn State game. Football is not my thing, but it’s nice to be in a room where the only angst concerns the fortunes of a ball.

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  16. I’ll be doing a pulpit exchange on Nov. 5 so I’m focusing on All Saints’ Day with a little bit of Reformation due to Martin Luther and others being part of the “saints” who have gone before us. It’s been a rough week as I learned a week ago that a youth is in juvenile detention and his family is dealing with the reasons for that detention. Self-care in that has included a symphony concert, a session with my counselor and a brief chat with my spiritual director, who I’ll formally meet with on Monday. I had a graveside service for a member whose funeral took place a couple months ago and our Trunk-or-Treat is tomorrow.

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  17. I’m a deacon involved in community organizing who has been asked to preach at a new member church in our organization. Using Leviticus & Matthew to talk about working for the common good.

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