Pheeto alert! Liz is the one in purple boots. 

Hello, preachers! At my house, three preachers are heading out to meet a fourth for dinner. We have Preacher Party host Liz Crumlish from Scotland visiting at the Manse where my wife and live in South Central Pennsylvania, and I am filling in for her this week. Liz will be preaching for the congregation kathrynzj serves this Sunday, and kathrynzj will be preaching for the closing worship service at NEXT Church’s National Gathering on Wednesday.

(And I? Will be preaching something brilliant to myself in the shower, no doubt, and would be happy to come preach at your church sometime; just ask.)

Wherever you are preaching this week, the party is starting now, and will continue as long as RevGals are working on their sermons. Just getting started? (Because we all have those weeks sometimes.) If you’re in the RCL, take a look at the conversation begun by Katya Ouchakof on Tuesday, and if you’re in the NL, there’s a thoughtful reflection by Mary Austin.

Let us know what direction you are headed in the comments, and share thoughts you have about the texts, a great children’s message, or whatever is making it hard to get started. We are here to see each other through the process.

Martha Spong is a UCC pastor, author, clergy coach, and the Executive Director of RevGalBlogPals. Procrastinating? Look up her new book with RevGal Rachel Hackenberg, Denial is My Spiritual Practice (and Other Failures of Faith).

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.

34 thoughts on “11th Hour Preacher Party: a party of preachers edition

  1. I’m preaching using the NL text where Jesus washes the feet of the disciples. Not sure about my focus: humility, servant leadership, confession (we do need Jesus to wash us), or Jesus as role model for “real” men (and women) in light of the death-dealing effect of our warped view of what’s masculine and feminine, especially around anger issues.

    Please tell Liz, Hi! In gin and lemon, what’s the lemon? Lemonade? Asking for a friend.

    Liked by 2 people

      1. i have added John 12: 1-8. to the John 13: 1017 reading in the NL. more than half way through i think. maybe close to finished if i don’t find some more words 🙂

        Liked by 1 person

  2. Hi….It is 10.20am here in sunny Scotland and I am just starting the write down the thoughts in my head. I had planned to do this on Wednesday but then a funeral came in …and well…here I am trying to draft something before Messy church [need to head out soon] so that I can sit this afternoon with the sport on the tv, a pot of tea, and finish my notes.

    I am blessed to have over 100 young people from our Scout groups joining us tomorrow for their Founder’s Day service and so we are going ‘Off Lectionary’ and our reading is Psalm 121. We are thinking about journeying into an unknown future and linking the story of the Exodus with the story of Lewis and Clark and the Corps of Discovery – heading off into the unknown. I’m currently reading Tod Bolsinger’s book ‘Canoeing the Mountains’ about change in the church and thought I would use the opportunity to share some thoughts with the congregation [who for this one week will include some of the Scout-moms and Scout-dads who bring their kids each week and are on the edges of our church community]. I think some of this will resonate with them and perhaps excite some younger members to get involved in joining us on the journey.

    I have lots of leftover sandwiches in the fridge from last night’s bingo-tea at the Legion [a great outreach opportunity] – help yourself…there’s coffee in the pot and I bet my daughter has left the fruit juice and smoothies sitting out on the counter. See you all later!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Well…Messy Church was amazing – I worshipped with my nearly13 year old, and did crafts together on the theme of Good Samaritan. We had over 20 children with their parents – a full hall for lunch together afterwards – brilliant.

      I’ve got the service written [inc prayers and reflections] as well as the ppt ready to put on a stick for the morning. Really pleased with it and weirdly sensing God in the excitement.

      It’s only just before 3pm and I’m finished in time for the rugby later and even have an hour or so to start to get the manse [vicarage/church-house] tidied and dusted before the church inspection team come next week. I’ve left you all some tea in a pot and biscuits and tablet on the table…help yourselves.

      Liked by 2 people

  3. calling it a night, sermon is shorter than usual, but we are also including Lent Event, a UCA fundraising program, this week looking at climate change in the Pacific, particularly Tuvalu here is the link if you are interested or procrastinating
    the sermon, based on John 12, the anointing of Jesus by Mary, and John 13, Jesus washing the disciples feet is here and it is only 11.00 pm.

    looking forward to a retreat with other women in ministry, starting tomorrow afternoon for 3 days. i had hoped to have some of next week’s service done by now, but it didn’t happen this week. lots of other things happened 🙂

    time for a cuppa, and bed. I must remember not to get too engrossed in the winter Olympics.

    Liked by 2 people

  4. Good morning, all! Cream of wheat with raisins about to happen here, if you’d like some.

    RCL covenant series: Promises to Abraham and Sarah; walking toward the future means walking toward the cross. I just looked at the outline I made earlier in the week and I’m satisfied enough, so maybe this house will get picked up today. I have been writing out my sermons this winter because I’ve been fearful of getting the flu and needing an elder to read something at the very last minute, but that practice has really undermined my ability to preach with a sense of freshness, so I’m abandoning it — even though I know I will forget a lot that I intend to say, Always a trade-off.

    Liked by 2 people

  5. I am heading over to a Discipleship retreat. I will put finishing touches on my sermon tonight, mostly it is done. My sermon series for Lent is “Who is this Man?” This week is The Compassionate Jesus using Mark 6: 30-34. I am contrasting compassion with love, one is not better than the other but different. I think people, me included, long for a Christ who understands and walks with us in our uncertainty, fear, suffering and grief.

    Liked by 1 person

  6. I preach the Children’s sermon tomorrow at our main service. I’ll be talking about God’s Promises to us. Last week we had the covenant with Noah, this week we have the covenant with Abraham, and next week we will hear about the covenant with Moses and the Israelites. All will lead us to the New Covenant (language from our Eucharistic prayer) at Easter. I’m keeping it simple and hoping the adults “overhear” something for themselves also.

    Liked by 1 person

  7. I wrote early this week so that I could have fun when I got to PA with Martha and Kathryn – and Teddy their beautiful dog.
    I’m preaching on the RCL Gospel – about how, still, we try to cast the Messiah in our own safe image – and Jesus rebukes us – to take up a cross, deny ourselves, etc….
    Looking forward to preaching at Mechanicsburg and then travelling to Baltimore for NextChurch.
    So great to be this side of the pond with RevGal hosts – what a community.

    Liked by 3 people

  8. I’m preaching the Narrative passage tomorrow. And for the first time, I noticed that Jesus asks the disciples, “do you know what i have done to you?” I guess I’d always heard it as done “for” you.
    The idea that in foot washing, or servant leadership, Jesus transforms the disciples, he does something to them. He makes them people who are served. And then he tells them to go out and do it to others.
    I’ve also got a funeral today. And am hosting book club tonight. So I’ve got pistachio lemon bars cooling on the counter and trying to get other dinner prep done.

    Liked by 1 person

  9. We have an hour to go before a Meet and Greet for Liz at kathrynzj’s church. Clergy from the Presbytery were invited, as well as church members, but it’s hard to say whether people will come out on a rainy Saturday afternoon. One thing I’m sure of … we will have good refreshments, thanks to the nicest PW ladies in the whole world. I’ll check back in later.


  10. I’ve got the Olympics on the TV as I contemplate taking up our crosses & following Jesus. One commentator suggested it can come as we allow ourselves to be vulnerable and open spaces for others to be vulnerable too. This is hitting close to home since my mother is sick – she went in for a medical test and got admitted to a hospital due to low oxygen levels – there’s fluid around her lungs & a mass in her abdomen and we won’t have test results for another few days. I’m finding it hard to stop thinking about the worst case scenario. I’m 1700 miles away.


  11. Joining the party way too late, with way too little done. We picked up our brand new puppy this afternoon, and she is highly distracting! A little like a toddler in her ability to find the things we didn’t puppy-proof. And the combination of puppy and elementary-aged daughters was…um…high spirited.

    I’m following Mark through Holy Week for Lent, with “The Last Week” by Borg and Crossan as our guide. Tomorrow is Monday, so cursing the fig tree and cleansing (B&C say symbolically destroying) the Temple. So, a light subject, right?

    These sermons are turning out to be mostly Bible Study-ish, which is fine, but I still gotta write the thing.

    Liked by 2 people

      1. Thank you. At the very least, their structure makes sense to me and gives me something to follow. I’m sorely missing all my usual RCL resources.


  12. I love the liminal space. Went to bed not satisfied … had something on paper …but it felt stagnant, stale and just words. Then this morning … I remembered … I remembered Christmas Eve 1962 … I was given a doll that was purchased for me the day I was born. My grandparents had waited until I was older because it was so special. It was also the first year that I got to go to Christmas Eve service (late night used to be the only time available). I proudly brought the doll with me …. and proceeded to fall asleep … somehow sitting on the doll and breaking it. Would I ever be trusted again with something so precious? Not a scolding word was said … my dad took it … spent most of the night fixing it …. what love.

    This morning … the doll will journey with me to church.
    Yes … we living in a broken world …
    It is this brokenness to which Christ came to make whole.

    Liked by 1 person

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