Iona Surf


As another Sunday rolls around, what challenges are you facing as you seek to speak truth to power in your particular context?
Are you preaching RCL this week? Are you with David and Goliath or the disciples in a storm? If so, you’ll find some discussion on those texts in Tuesday’s Lectionary Post.
This week, the preacher on the DAY1 podcast is our Executive Director, Martha Spong – listen here.
You may be preaching through a series or pursuing a theme. I’m sure, however that, whatever the text, it will speak into the political climate wherever you are, illuminating the word of God and God’s call on us to care “for the least of these.”
We’d love to hear where you are finding good news for your community and how you are planning to preach the word where you are. This is a place to share – bring what you have and ask for what you need as, together, we grapple with preaching 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.

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.

28 thoughts on “11th Hour Preacher Party: Storms ahead

  1. I am preaching on the theme of faith as it is a thread through all of the lectionary readings this week. It has been a very difficult week to pull together something on faith due to the 2300 kids in cages on our Southern border. My own faith is challenged. It seems as if Jesus is asleep in the stern of the boat during the storm. My sermon is going to be around the idea that Jesus came to action when called upon. When the disciples were afraid and being tossed about by the storm Jesus got up and said, “Peace, Be still”. As faithful people we are God’s hands and voice in the world. Regardless of our political persuasion or our personal views on immigration there is no denying that we have suffering and hurting children at our boarder and now also dispersed throughout our country being tossed about by a raging storm. Many journalists and politicians spoke out in strength this week demanding “Peace, be still”. In small ways, their voices were heard and a change implemented While there has been a some progress to decrease the suffering at our border there is still so far to go and so much suffering. Jesus shows us, by calming the storm that faith involves action. Faith requires that we call upon our own power and say, “Peace, be still” to the raging storm. There are donations to be made, meals to be cooked, children to comfort and policy to change. On the back of your bulletin I’ve listed the website for https://advocacy.episcopalchurch.com. Here you can prepare a statement for all our legislature that will be sent out to them at the touch of a button.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Earlier in the week I read the lectionary psalm, Ps. 9, and found this at verse 18: “For the needy shall not always be forgotten, nor the hope of the poor perish forever.” Oh, that’ll preach! Sermon title: “Forgotten?” Thanks be to God, voices have been raised this week!


  3. We have added the reading from A Sanctified Art to our Sunday morning lessons and removed one of the regular ones. This week we have the story from Daniel of Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego….like all the readings we’ve inserted it connects to the others in an uncanny way – here the idea of faith, what faith looks like: walking through fire, calming a storm, abiding with a deep sense of inner peace.

    I am, admittedly beat. There has been no slow down, no end to the fast pace of the program year, especially with the endless onslaught of crises this country (USA) is facing thanks to the policies and actions of Congress, the President, and his cabinet. Every day is a new horror. I feel guilty taking time to rest, guilty because so many who are caught in the fray of injustice cannot rest, so how dare I? I spent all day Thursday in a prayer vigil, set up the Chapel at Church, and prayed. By the end of the day I was exhausted. And so, rest I must for a day or two.

    Which means that going in to preaching tomorrow, presiding over two worship services and a Vestry meeting seems more daunting than I can manage. I will do it because it’s what I’m called to do. I will summon the inner strength to do this. I will pray that somehow I have the words I need for my sermon and words to lead the Vestry, which is never easy here. Always difficult, even on “good” days.

    So there we are. My lament. Maybe before the day is over I will have words for a sermon, too?


  4. I am preaching thru the alternate OT texts this summer so it’s David and Goliath for me. Full of lessons about confronting what seems like power with what we may mistakenly perceive as weakness. Pulling in some help from Malcom Gladwell and unmasking Goliath a bit; power may not be all that it seems to be. I think that’ll preach this weekend.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. What a great text.. I was giving a message as a lay person a few weeks ago and also mentioned the Gladwell book in regards to tackling problems that look insurmountable. In that same book he talked about British morale under German air raids during WW II as well. Great resource. With so many dark figures looming large on the world political stage from N Korea to KGB to our own alliance breaking secretaries and human rights council resigning ambassadors, it’s easy to feel overwhelmed. It’s almost as if there were a giant out there spewing hateful speech about the poor, minorities, and the dispossessed and challenging us to prove him wrong. Always, In the end, God prevails.

      Liked by 1 person

  5. I am beginning a five week mini-sermon series from congregational texts. This Sunday the Mark text worked well to frame the question, “What are the experiences/circumstances of a person’s life that would make them not believe in God or any deity?


    1. Whoops…hit enter! I have it mapped out in a couple of sections which include can we articulate the God each of us believes in, what I have heard from people who don’t believe or given up on the church, listen to them and don’t judge (and don’t spew God all over them), and that we have a hard time dealing with hard questions relating to our faith and God. Somehow, I hope that all goes comes together in some way.


    2. Elaine, I can imagine simply listening to the news this week would cause us to question out faith, no matter what political persuasion we embrace. It’s all too real. Thanks for tackling this in worship.


  6. I need to prepare a short reflective bit… one of our members is not long back from a trip to Zambia with work; she was there are a paediatric physiotherapist, but came across much faith and life – so she is doing the bulk of the talking.
    I am struggling to find the words that fit “living in Faith”, have chosen the calming of the storm and ps 133 – especially the first verse of the psalm – How good when we live in unity – which is something we are all struggling with in my context at present.
    I suspect I’m going with just a couple of notes – scriptless feels right.


  7. I am running a little later than i want to in my sermon writing this week. This has been a tough one and I am trying to bring home the good news that although Jesus may seem asleep, we can call on him, we can wake the sleeping Jesus in all of us and respond – each in our own way.
    Pat of my sermon reads:
    “The reports I have heard and pictures I have seen touch me on a very personal level.
    I have separated children from their parents.
    For nearly five years I worked for Child Protective Services and was a First Responder to allegations of child abuse and neglect.
    I had to separate families.
    From hugs to gentle words, from a small blanket or pillow from home to a picture of their parent – I did whatever I could to calm children’s fears and answer their questions. Above all, however, every attempt was made to not separate a child from their parent. Every attempt was made to keep families together whenever possible or to at least have a child stay with another relative if home was not safe. The goal was to keep the trauma of separation as minimal as possible.
    According to one organization, “Trauma can affect children’s brains, bodies, behavior, and ways of thinking. Ongoing trauma often disrupts children’s sense of security, safety, and sense of themselves and alters the way they see and respond to people and situations in their lives. Approximately one in four children in foster care will show signs of post-traumatic stress disorder.” And these are children in Foster care – not children kept in a Walmart warehouse.
    And so, when I read the news about the children that are being separated from their parents at the border, I worry about the trauma these children experience. I wonder about the long-term effects not only on their emotional and psychological well-being but also their physical well-being. I can’t help but wonder how these children may live out the trauma they experienced later in life. What will the ripple effects be of their storm and how will it impact even the next generation? How will it impact all of us?””


      1. Thank you. I find that many times my preaching includes a reminder that saying we are the body of Christ isn’t good enough. Do we really believe it? If so, then that sleeping Jesus is in us and is us…
        I left Child Protective Services to attend seminary but I am grateful for my time there. I learned so much.


  8. It’s 9:40pm, still broad daylight, though the sun is getting low. This week in “people’s favourite hymns” we have a selection that sent me to the trinity of “purpose, presence, and power” (borrowed from the book “Becoming A Blessed Church, which I think everyone should read). So the texts are Moses at the burning bush (not just the name bit, but the excuses as well!), and Jesus sending out the 72 in Luke 10, where even when they shake the dust from their feet somewhere, they say “but even so, know this: the kingdom of God has come to you.” I have been thinking about how we see and experience and participate in God’s purpose, presence, and power.
    But I haven’t quite thought about it enough to have a sermon figured out. LOL! I’m in need of a beginning, and then I think it’ll flow from there…

    In the meantime, I have chocolate….


    1. Teri, I was recently challenged by the question: What might the burning bush look like for us today? What would attract our attention and curiosity and would signal holy ground?


      1. Yes….my notes say things about curiosity, and openness to seeing God do something…
        I have been giving people a little spiritual-growth challenge each week this season, and I think this week’s (which has to last for two, since I’ll be away next weekend!) will be something about praying for the church: asking for a burning bush, and confessing our excuses. Not put exactly like that, but something along that vein…


  9. It’s 12:45 am on the west coast. Cant remember when I wrestled with a sermon this much before. But putting it (and myself) to bed now, and will resume in a few hours. Blessings on your preaching this Sunday, sisters!


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