Newman Castle, Bellville, TX, 2018. Photo by Monica Smith


Let’s keep it simple today, preachers.

Share ideas. Rest a while. Ask for help. Pray with and for each other. Play.

RCL post for this week

Monica Thompson Smith is a Presbyterian Church (USA) minister, serving as stated supply pastor of First Presbyterian Church, Luling, TX. She is a contributor to There’s a Woman in the Pulpit.

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13 thoughts on “11th Hour Preacher Party: Simple Edition

  1. Well, I haven’t done much sermon prep yet aside from Tuesday’s RCL post! It’s been a busy week and Saturday is pretty full also. Planning to focus on Ephesians (God brings all humanity together into one) and Jeremiah (when people are scattered, God will gather them back together). I’d like to focus on the hopeful messages, but the reason these themes stand out to me is that the current US administration is separating families, and the Bible specifically names that as evil! The hope is in God bringing families back together! So… how to preach this text in a way that reaches everyone, but doesn’t ignore current political policies? It’s nearly midnight Friday for me, heading to bed soon and will probably be back online tomorrow late afternoon. Looking forward to reading your ideas then!


  2. In my midweek email blurb, I said I”d be preaching about “a different kind of shepherd.” Our
    Jeremiah, Psalm 23, and Mark readings lift up different kinds of leaders– those who scatter and divide/neglect their people and instill fear, and God (and Jesus) bringing them together, feeding/teaching/healing them. As much as I dislike having to say anything about the sermon before Saturday evening, I do think I will focus on the Shepherd and our role as Jesus followers– ministered to and ministering alongside of/in the name of Jesus.
    Of course, I won’t actually write it until tomorrow (Saturday). But this is where I’m headed.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I would really dislike having to have a mid-week blurb of any kind. I do turn in a title early in the week, but I’ve given myself permission to ignore it if the Spirit leads me elsewhere. Bringing the sheep together is both an evergreen, and a particularly timely message, I’d say.


      1. I give myself wide latitude with the blurb– it becomes a creative exercise. How broad can I make it?
        I am almost done, finding Robert Alter’s translation of Psalm 23 to be a great way to end the sermon.

        Liked by 1 person

  3. Just wondering how to preach on disciples and a Lord who need rest and don’t get it, when I’m in the same boat (no pun intended). You’d think it would be easy since I so identify, but no…..

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I almost titled this post “Respite Edition” of the preacher party, but then decided maybe I was projecting my own need for respite on to everyone else! All that to say, yes, I need some rest but don’t seem to get it either!


  4. It is the last week for congregation suggestions for summer sermons. Romans 5: 1-5 (peace with God, rejoice in sufferings, and hope). After 27 pages of notes, I figured I could teach a class. I am doing something I have never done before…the first essay in Anne Lamont’s book Stitches weaves it all together and real. No punches. So, 99% of my sermon will be in Anne’s words. I am disclosing fully at the start and have been practicing reading it so it comes more natural.


  5. That’s a beautiful photograph.

    I’m using the gospel (“Come away to a deserted place”)and Ephesians (“peace in Christ”) to talk about prayer and the inward journey. Next Sunday I will be on vacation, and then I’ll only be there a month or two, so I am trying to leave a few nuggets behind and not start up anything new. I’m pretty burned out.


    1. I have to intersperse challenging sermons with ones like you have described, just to pace my own energy levels. Enjoy the vacation time!


      1. And thank you for the photo compliment. I took it with my phone, so as you might imagine, it was prettier in person.


  6. OK, I have a start! I think I’m going to share some of my family’s migration story, talk about how leaders had choices to scatter families or keep them together, an how that is one of the marks of a good leader according to Scripture.

    Then what? I guess we’ll see how it all unfolds!

    Liked by 2 people

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