churchI’ve had a really stimulating week, full of conversations about church. And, in particular about how to be church today, living out the gospel and transforming communities with the love of God. From Pioneer ministers to ministers involved in transition in congregations to ministry students from Zurich who were visiting Scotland, we were all grappling with the question: How can we be involved in the mission of God today? How is God calling us to be church in this generation in all our differing cultures and contexts?
Our Lectionary readings this week seem to encourage us to grapple with these questions as we preach the word:
Our Narrative Lectionary Post from earlier in the week sees Paul claim knowledge of the unknown God for whom the Athenians make space, while the RCL Post confronts us with love, fierce love, that is of God, that we are compelled to share with all, no exceptions.

Are these themes that you will preach this week. Will you be posing more questions than offering solutions? How are these texts, or others, touching your life and the life of your community? We’d love to hear your thoughts and accompany you as you prepare for preaching, teaching, prayers, children’s time or whatever other elements of worship you’re charged with this week. You may have just the spark that will ignite another’s kindling thoughts into flame.
So share what you have and ask for what you need as we encourage one another in our various ministries, loving God and neighbour wherever we are called to be church today.

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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10 thoughts on “11th Hour Preacher Party: How to be church?

  1. Hmmm….no one else here? I’m excited about my sermon, as I’m introducing the new-ish PC(USA) hymnal through alternating sermon snippets and songs. My seminary mentor-in-chief was on the committee that put it together and wrote a great article about it, I love talking about the theology of music, and I love the new hymnal, Glory to God. But . . . six weeks after getting the flu and a remarkably slow recovery, I’m feeling a relapse coming on, so I’ve written an extensive outline tonight just in case someone else needs to follow the bulletin, which is way more complicated than usual. All I have to do tomorrow is attend a memorial service so, while my house is in desperate of need of attention, I can sleep most of the day away if need be. I really want to preach this one!

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  2. Saturday morning here in Australia, and i am not preaching tomorrow. after sick leave last week, a generous offer from a Lay preacher to lead worship tomorrow at both services. Which means for the first time in 2 1/2 years i am going to be sitting in worship with these congregations.
    it is amazing how much i got done in a week without worship to prep.

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  3. I am preaching at our annual pulpit swap this Sunday. The minister from a local CPCA church , a prodominantly African-American denomination, will come to my pulpit and I will go to his. We then meet together for a fellowship meal at the noon hour. This year my church is hosting the meal.
    I am preaching on Philip and the Eunich. I am struggling with how to speak about an outcast to a community that often expresses to me feeling like outcasts in the Christian family. As a woman I understand being put down and outcast, but as a white woman I do not have the expereinces or knowledge to even fathom what it must be like for people of color. These thoughts have me a bit paralized.

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    1. Blessings to you on your pulpit swap tomorrow! One of the things I like about this text is the mutuality in the conversation between the Ethiopian Eunuch and Philip. Nadia Bolz Weber has called it the conversion of Philip as opposed to the conversion of the Eunuch because they both have something to take away from the encounter. They both bring their questions and openess to the encounter and it is the eunuch who suggests baptism, opening up Philip to a deeper understanding of the gospel. In a pulpit swap, I might go with the idea and attitude of having things to learn from the community that you are with.

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  4. I love the question: What is to prevent me from being baptized? It echoes so many other questions: What is to prevent me from being liberated from slavery? What is to prevent me from ordination? What is to prevent me from marrying my same sex partner? In the realm of the world, it is power and oppression. But in God’s realm, it is nothing–nothing prevents me from entering fully into the life of God and God’s community. And when I realize that, in community, I become empowered to break free of that oppression. (Obviously I have been revisiting James Cone’s work today.)

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