image from for Albany

Ok, its 55-60 degrees up here in Albany NY, and after -10/15 windchills, we are enjoying are heatwave up here. That means lots of time out and about, after weeks of hibernating, and getting some energy out. Unfortunately, this means there are still sermons to be written! (Plus there’s the extra pressure of Martine Luther King Jr day in the US…should you choose to accept it)

If you are looking at John 1:43-51, you can check out Rev. Erin Counihan’s prayer. As you are waiting to see, its a good reminder to read Rev. Rachel G. Hackenberg’s RCL post about the rarity of the word of God, especially in regards to Samuel. If you are contemplating miracles at Cana, check out Rev. Lia Scholl’s Narrative post.

Whether you are contemplating world peace or the minutia of ministry, tell us about where God is leading you in worship this week, we’d love to hear from you.

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 blogs at 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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10 thoughts on “Preacher Party: Heatwave Edition

  1. I’m wrestling with what to say Sunday and how i want to say it. Anyone with ideas. I’m appalled, disgusted, and looking for some way to raise the conversation. He goes low, i must go high!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. I’m stuck on hearing vs listening. Why did Nathaniel miss the first introduction of Jesus and focus on the Nazareth part? How do our own assumptions, expectations, and biases get in the way of listening to God and each other?
    Still trying to decide if this is the direction I’m going.


  3. We are launching our renewal project with the help of the Center for Parish Development, and the next several weeks I am preaching through the Bible study we are doing as one of our first activities (since almost no one comes to Bible study). The study is on the Sermon on the Mount as instructions to the community, so I am introducing the renewal project; introducing the SOM; talking about being called by Jesus to community and leadership because John, SOM, and ordination and installation of officers; and talking about MLK, Jr. with the help of several articles which connect his life to the SOM. I am going to address the events of the week in the prayer, somehow.

    Stay warm, everyone! If you are in a place where it IS warm, enjoy!


  4. After I preached Nathanael last week, it occurred to me that perhaps the Israelite “without any deceit” comment means that Nathanael doesn’t have a filter and will say whatever he’s thinking.
    This week, I’ve got the wedding at Cana. I’m focusing on the “what is this to you and me” and the “my hour has not yet come” to look at things in our current American culture (“me too” and President Trump’s racism) and ask if our hour has, in fact, come. And if we are being called to lead people into abundance. I have church tonight, so I’m glad it came together in a timely manner. We’re also having a chili/soup cook off after worship, so now I’m off to buy supplies and will get the crock pot working!


  5. For any of you working on Psalm 139 like I am, you might appreciate this quote from Martin Buber, shared by Nancy deClaisse-Walford in a commentary that she wrote for Working Preacher (2009, reposted this week):

    With this abundance of first and second person pronouns in the first six verses, Psalm 139 reflects the profound relationship of the “I” and “You” (or, “I” and “Thou”) in ancient Israel. Walter Brueggemann describes this relationship by saying, “The Psalms are prayers addressed to a known, named, identifiable You. This is the most stunning and decisive factor in the prayers of the Psalter.”2 In a book titled Tales of the Hasadim, Martin Buber, an early twentieth-century Jewish philosopher, offered these words concerning the relationship between God and humankind:

    Where I wander – You!
    Where I ponder – You!
    Only You, You again, always You!
    You! You! You!
    When I am gladdened – You!
    When I am saddened – You!
    Only You, You again, always You!
    You! You! You!
    Sky is You, Earth is You!
    You above! You below!
    In every trend, at every end,
    Only You, You again, always You!
    You! You! You!3

    Liked by 1 person

  6. I’m going to be doing Epiphany (still, because church was cancelled last week), thinking about having eyes to see. How the Magi had eyes to see and Herod and the scholars could care less. I can’t get the question out of my mind about what would have happened if Mary and Joseph would have said, “OMG, strangers, we can’t let them in! You have gifts? No thanks!” and slammed the door. Of course, how appalling to think that Mary & Joe would do such a thing, but we do this too much to strangers. I would appreciate any thoughts…


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