Glimpsed while I was definitely not procrastinating

It’s that time again, friends—time to write a sermon! Which also means time to procrastinate in both more and less productive ways.

Some of us, I know, procrastinate by doing things like cleaning the house. The sermon may not be done, but the laundry is!

Others of us (read: me) procrastinate by following the auto-play of YouTube videos, going down rabbit holes that start innocently enough with “I need to know the motions to go with this song we’re using for the summer Holiday Club even though it’s two months away” and ending up with watching a variety of covers of “Fight Song” and a bunch of renditions of “This is Me”…and then obviously flash mobs, somehow.

I’m starting a summer series on people’s favourite hymns, so I’m looking at how we sing praise. You might be following one of the lectionaries, or doing another series. Whatever the case, we’re here to do it together! Whether you’re procrastinating or writing up a storm, here you’ll find snacks to share, friends to commiserate with, children’s sermon ideas, and fun!

Teri Peterson is a minister in the Church of Scotland, enjoying the wonder that is summer weather on the west coast, for however long it lasts! She blogs sporadically at CleverTitleHere, is co-author of the book Who’s Got Time: Spirituality for a Busy Generation, and is a contributor to There’s A Woman In The Pulpit. And may have a slight addiction to flash mob videos.

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26 thoughts on “11th Hour Preacher Party: powered by YouTube musicals edition

  1. Hey there! I’m in Narrative and wishing I were back in Egypt rather than having to preach on the 10 commandments. Good times. I also have a funeral Monday. That means my laundry is all done.

    Liked by 3 people

    1. I have never used the NL summer suggestions….though given how often I find myself ten weeks in to the summer thinking “it was a good idea at the time but I’m ready for September!” maybe I should. Ha!

      I’m so impressed at the productive procrastination. I could use that skill.


      1. Some days are better than others. Now it’s saturday morning, and I think I’m going to let the sermon percolate a little longer and walk down to the farmer’s market.


  2. I’m kinda with Marci and the Ten…I’m preaching the RCL Mark lesson (Jesus “violating” the Sabbath in various ways), so I’ve picked up the Exodus and Deuteronomy versions of that commandment to read also. I’m in the process of madly skimming Heschel’s “The Sabbath” (I’ve read it once before) to see if there’s anything I want to pull out of there. I don’t have a real direction, except that I don’t want to make Sabbath observance a self-improvement technique.

    All that to say…I’ll definitely be here most of Saturday.


  3. Not procrastinating as much as covered up by synod assembly, another special event and driving time to and from those, but I did finally sit down and narrow my focus on the gospel text and how we are not called merely to Sabbath and obedience for its own sake, but for what it frees us to do and who it frees us to see. How different that reality is from the shoulds and oughts we construct. Thinking about weaving in stories from these two days if my brain isn’t mush by the time I sit down Saturday night. Grateful to Feasting on the Word writers this week.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. It’s late morning here in Scotland and so far I have managed to finally make an appointment with a new hair person (having put that’s off for a month…and then even this morning hung up once before finally managing to get up the nerve!), and to break open my last box of cinnamon toast crunch (until my next visitors arrive in a month).

    I’m actually considering vacuuming the house, which would at least be useful…

    The sermon for tomorrow needs to pull together psalm 96 (“sing a new song…”), the Magnificat, and Philippians 2. No problem, right?


  5. It’s 9am here in Kansas and I’m using 2 Corinthians 4:7-12 to start a new series on identity – who we are in Christ. The title I put in the bulletin is “The Great Paradox” but so far this morning it’s more of a conundrum – how do I put this together into a sermon? Yesterday was supposed to be writing day but there were too many rabbit holes and babies crying in the next room (we have a daycare in our church). I learned that the band Jars of Clay did indeed take its name from 2 Cor 4:7 and that Kierkegaard called faith a paradox. Also I got the Facebook page updated instead during one of my many “breaks” from focusing on the sermon. My husband has run to the store to get more coffee, and I’m determined to figure this out before noon.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Mostly the hymnal companion and the internet. Last time I used a book called something like 100 Favorite Hymn Stories which covered lots of the old American gospel songs. I got fewer of those in the requests here so I haven’t gone looking for that book again…


  6. I am starting 6 weeks of Job. I may be a blithering idiot to make such a choice….

    Anyway tomorrow is chapters 1 and 2 and I am going to focus on why (if) Job is “good”. Will likely talk about his patience, since that pretty much disappears after chapter 2 and save the whole “is God being just?” stuff for next week when Job starts to complain.

    SO thus far this morning I have gone for breakfast with family, started the process of setting up the new church laptop (currently running update) and am playing CandyCrush. THe commentary is on the desk beside my elbow…any chance the info will flow through my skin that way??????

    Liked by 2 people

  7. 7:40pm here…time to do some serious work. Which of course means I’m listening to podcasts recommended by the englewood review of books, deciding whether to buy some books…none of which are about the topic at hand, naturally, but are church related, I swear!

    Both my lunch and dinner were accompanied by garlic bread, so that’s what I have to share at the moment! Anyone else need snacks? I have ice cream bars in the freezer….


    1. I’ve decided to preach on Samuel and start by providing the backstory of Hannah and her song – it actually goes well with the gospel, so I can add in a touch there. I’ll lay the groundwork for the rest of Samuel’s story that will lead into Saul and David with their stories. We’re in I & II Samuel until mid-August, so it seems fruitful.

      Liked by 2 people

      1. That sounds like a good plan!
        I had this genius idea early in the week about the songs we sing picking up on the songs of previous generations of faithful people, and I had thought to use Hannah and Mary, as one of the hymn requests is essentially a setting of the Magnificat….but I don’t think that idea has quite enough flesh on those very few bones. Haha.

        Liked by 1 person

  8. I too am writing a sermon on the Mark passage about Sabbath. As my congregation is old and will remember Sunday Blue Laws, I’m going to talk about those and how they differed in different communities and invite the congregation to share some memories…maybe ending up with talking about how “the sabbath was made for humankind, not humankind for the sabbath.” In my own city of New Orleans, I think the nail in the coffin for local blue laws was the city’s getting an NFL football team in 1967.

    Teri, it is in the 90s here and I could use some of that ice cream!

    Liked by 1 person

  9. I spent most of this week completely unplugged from the world, in the wilderness of northern Minnesota, either on an island with no internet or phone service, or elsewhere in the surrounding national forest where I could access internet long enough to message my husband once a day, but not do sermon research! I was hoping that this setting would lend itself to an easy sermon on Sabbath. Unfortunately, it’s 7:45pm on Saturday and I find myself with about 1/3 of a mediocre draft for tomorrow morning. I’ve gained some inspiration from the comments above – thanks! – and hoping that with access to google, I can do some more research on some of the ideas I had earlier in the week. But really I would prefer that my wilderness Sabbath could keep going for another week!

    Liked by 3 people

  10. Listening to the new musicals up for Tonys this year on Amazon, in hopes that I will not go down the black hole of Youtube music lol. I’m going with 1 Samuel here…I finish up with this congregation at the end of July so am going with the idea of how to listen to God and maybe with a focus on Eli since I have an older congregation. (oops totally thought I had posted this hours ago :()

    Liked by 2 people

  11. It’s soooo good to know I’m not the only one!! This recovering type A is feeling refreshingly
    and encouragingly affirmed!


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