Hello Friends,

Where are you right now? I’m at a coffee shop after a last minute reschedule of coffee with a congregant, and savoring the extra moments of babysitting to spend on my sermon before my three boy-boys get to bed. Where are you? What are you up to? No matter what I’m grateful that you have spent a little time here to refresh and refocus as you do the sermonizing thing!

If you are journeying through the RCL  take a look at Rev. Rachel Hackenburg’s post about the parable of the talents and the difficulty of slavery being named in the text. If you have been knee deep in prophets with the Narrative Lectionary consider looking at Rev. Lia Scholl’s post about prophecy, naming God and dealing with justice.

If you need a break, or some humor, I recommend reading Rev. Joanna Harader’s Wits’-end-day post on gratitude.

I’m here drinking my tea, praying the Word of God is whispering to your soul tonight!


Katy Stenta is a solo pastor at a tiny church that is bigger on the inside in Albany, NY for over seven years. When she is not dreaming up projects and ideas, some of which creep into the church, she plays with her three boys-boys or goes and visits her husband at the library, while he works, to read.


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11 thoughts on “Preacher Party

  1. I am at our church Conference annual meeting, just now winding down from 3 hrs of input and visiting. Super glad the sermon on yhe talents led to a take on thanksgiving is done, more meeting all day tomorrow.

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  2. Yay, the party is live already! I’m at home after a couple of hours this afternoon at a coffee shop trying to get something written. Have company coming early tomorrow afternoon, so need to finish as much as possible tonight in order to have time to clean before they arrive tomorrow! It’s 10:15pm my time, hoping to get a draft done within the hour… wish me luck 😛

    Last week was one of those rare blessed times in which the sermon practically wrote itself! This week is not one of those. I’m preaching on the Matthew parable, and I think I’m going with the theme of faith v. fear. Our church council will be meeting Monday evening to discuss the budget for the coming year, and with giving down a bit from last year, I’m sure they’re going to talk about places to cut. But that’s not always the most faithful response!

    So, hoping to say something about the first and second slaves stepping out in faith, even though it meant risking the wrath of the master, and it paid off for them. The third slave acted in a way that was socially acceptable but still governed by fear, and he was punished rather than rewarded.

    Don’t know yet where the good news is in all of that, and obviously I’m processing as I type right now! Thanks for reading – any insights are appreciated 🙂

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  3. I have a weekend off, been booked for months. Away for two days, sightseeing in Sydney, after preaching at a friends induction this afternoon. On the 25 th floor of Hotel in the city, it is a different perspective this far up. Also nice to not be writing a sermon on Saturday evening.

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  4. I have a neutral pulpit tomorrow, followed by an interview…so I’m preaching a non-lectionary text so as not to interfere with whatever the minister is doing. It’s Luke 5, the big catch of fish and the call of the disciples, and I’ll be heading toward the point that Jesus calls us because he believes in us. 🙂

    I’ll be away overnight for this, so all I have in the house to share is chocolate. So….help yourselves! Loads of fair trade organic dark chocolate in various flavours ranging from peppermint to salted caramel to Turkish coffee!

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  5. I am at home trying to focus on tomorrow’s services but, as an exiled Zimbabwean, too excited about what is going on there to concentrate. Join me eating fudge as I celebrate!

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  6. I’m on the Thanksgiving texts tomorrow since the community Thanksgiving service isn’t happening this year. My sermon is still percolating, though I anticipate something along the lines of gratitude to God impacting our stewardship. At the moment I’m hiding in my office until I’m needed to help with our holiday bazaar. Right now, I have tea and a cinnamon roll and will offer soup at lunchtime.

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  7. Tomorrow is the end of our stewardship drive and I’m feeling behind the eight-ball with things. Just got back from a week in Portland laying to rest my mother-in-law. Trying to get both my husband and I back on east coast time and our 2 littles (2 and 5 reoriented) and everybody ready for Sunday. I’m preaching on the talents and am using a story from William Bausch’s World of Stories. Trying to get to the idea that the ‘talent’ or gift of the church is to give people hope and meaning. The story does that really well but I’m working on thinking of some concrete ways of fleshing that out.

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  8. I am wondering if the news this week (countless numbers of sexual assault and harassment charges) must be addressed from the pulpit. Generally, I don’t shy away from uncomfortable topics/issues but this one in particular makes me want to cry and so I am not sure I am ready to address it publicly (I have been moved to tears more than once in the last year while preaching – so I am particularly mindful of this risk.) Additionally, it is our stewardship Sunday so it is less natural to weave in. I am just afraid that people will be coming looking for a voice from their church that speaks to the situation and won’t get it. Any feedback?

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    1. I addressed this from the pulpit last week, and I think it worked with the parable then. I got a few audible “amen”s from this midwestern, mostly northern-European-descent Lutheran congregation! Not sure how it would fit with this week’s readings. Here’s an excerpt:

      Through countless interactions and parables and teachings, Jesus tells us to respect those who are overlooked by society. Treat them as human beings.
      In his day, it was the Samaritan, the tax collector, the prostitute… and women.

      Today, Jesus would tell us to create justice for communities of color. Make the world just as safe for Black boys as it is for white. Dismantle racism at its origin.
      Challenge the prejudice of your loved ones, even at the expense of your relationship with them. Living a life of justice is more important than their opinion of you.

      Today, Jesus would tell us to work for justice for all workers. And he would tell us to work against prejudice against people based on their profession. A janitor isn’t less of a person than a CEO – they are both beloved children of God, living out their calling and sharing their spiritual gifts with the world.

      Today, Jesus would still tell us to create justice for women.
      We are human beings.
      We are children of God.
      We are not sex objects, put here for the pleasure or displeasure of men.
      Jesus would tell us to smash the patriarchy so hard that a girl who is born today will never be able to tell a #metoo story, like the ones that every single woman in this room today could tell.
      Do it today.
      Create justice for these people now.

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