#ViewFromMyWindow this week…

Some of you have spent the week freezing in the polar vortex, others of you in a heat wave that has sent snakes scurrying for the coolness of the toilet…it seems a week of extremes across the globe!

Sunday comes regardless of the weather, though, so here we are…in the NL we have Jesus teaching us how to pray and how to live according to what we say we believe, especially in terms of our attachment to our things—a fairly extreme teaching if we think too much about it. In the RCL we have the call of Jeremiah, the ode to love (not the wedding kind despite its usage), and Jesus almost getting himself thrown off a cliff—oh my!

What are you thinking this week? What themes are emerging, what plans are you making for a children’s time or a creative prayer, what sthread will you trace through your proclamation?

Welcome to the party! We have ideas, commiseration, and snacks!


Teri Peterson is a minister in the west of Scotland, where no one would know what to do if it ever got very cold or very hot. She spends her free time petting the cat and looking at the incredible view from the manse window.


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29 thoughts on “11th Hour Preacher Party: extreme weather edition!

  1. I’m following the Spill the Beans alternative thread. We’re on new wine in old wineskins, and patching new cloth onto old. A useful opportunity to explore a little with the congregation some of the work we’ve been doing this last year on looking ahead to the future. Change is hard, there’s always resistance, but I’m hoping to do a little wondering with them about the things that we might be able to let go of, and some things we might learn about and embrace. I’m half-way through the sermon but want to let it percolate a little overnight. Rest of the service is done however, so surely it won’t be a 3am to bed horror tomorrow evening, lol!!

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    1. How are you finding the spill the beans extralectionary experience? I’m sorry I didn’t include it in the post, though I did think about it but realised since I didnt buy it this year I have no idea what’s going on. Haha.

      Good work getting the bits and pieces finished ahead of time!!

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  2. I’m here to kick off the party, and I’m quite sure I’ll be here to turn off the lights on Saturday. I’m doing the throwing Jesus off a cliff passage from Mark, but we’re also re-reading the lectionary passage from last week–the sermon that maybe (?) provoked such reaction. I have zero words written. In the meantime, a funeral Saturday morning for a person only a year older than I. This week has…not gone as I imagined, so here I sit in exactly the situation I hoped to avoid–two things to write in just over 24 hours, with a emotionally difficult funeral in between. Ah well.

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  3. first Sunday back after 2 weeks off. we are on the NL and i expanded the reading to all of chapter 6, there will be a short sermon, and i will read the story ‘Herbert and Harry’ to help us think about where, and what, our treasure is. As i didn’t start back at work until Thursday, and still get tired easily. hopefully 75% done, and not even dinner time.

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  4. It is only 9.00 pm Saturday evening and i am calling it done.
    One of the shortest sermons ever, but at the moment, life is about what is possible. With a picture book and communion, the service won’t be too short. And while i think the sermon is rather basic, I am guessing some of it will be a new thought for most people. [I asked my husband if he realised the Lord’s prayer was plural, and he hadn’t thought about it.]

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  5. Nearly midday in Scotland, and I have accomplished drinking some tea, petting the cat, and reminding people about the youth bible study tomorrow. That feels like more work than Saturday ought to include, lol! It’s sunny outside, though not warm, so I am enjoying the view for a bit, and thinking about what to have for lunch, and also letting the ideas percolate about the second half of the NL reading…something about orienting our heart and lifestyle around our identity as children of God/followers of Jesus. I’m strongly considering the possibility of “you cannot serve God and wealth” as the centrepiece, but I’m not quite sure how that would go…

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  6. I’ve just begun to consider going down another road…with the first half of the reading, lol. Jesus says not to pray with fancy words or look sad when fasting, ie not to try to make other people think how holy you are. Then he talks about “collecting treasures for your own benefit on earth” vs storing up treasure in heaven….which probably everyone else already knows but I just thought what if that’s also about spiritual practices? Don’t do spiritual practices for our own benefit, but for the kingdom of God. Then what does that mean, to have a spiritual practice that is FOR the kingdom rather than for myself? Hmmmm…….

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  7. Jeremiah for me. I am using the classic Wizard of OZ (after some great suggestions on the FB group). It was astounding for its time. I’ve laid the groundwork for Jeremiah’s time as a prophet and now working how he would using the images from the Wizard of OZ to call the people back to God…and ending with the hope Jeremiah offers. I found a YouTube teaching class Walter Brueggemann did on Jeremiah and he says it something like this: Jeremiah walks the people into the abyss (destruction of the temple and exile) and walks them back out with hope.

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  8. I’m going to a small Working Preacher conference all day (!!) so by some miracle I was able to write almost all of my sermon yesterday. I’m using Jeremiah to talk about how most of us feel inadequate to many tasks, but that really isn’t what matters to God’s; God calls us and helps us find our voice and actions. It’s a simple sermon of the cheerleader variety; my last few have been far more challenging, and it feels right to soften the tone this week. Plus, as always, I’m speaking first to myself; I had to make a difficult ministry decision this week, and I’m reminding myself that God was leading the way.
    If you hang around, I’ll be making some lentil soup later, perfect for the cold or rainy day many of us are experiencing!

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  9. I have a page of notes.
    It is 4.30 pm Saturday here in Earlston.
    I am just back from a short road trip and meeting, which has me a bit drained emotionally, but also hopeful & content. I won’t know the results of the meeting for a while. So I have to park the feels and turn the notes into something.
    I am using The Jeremiah, and 1 Corinthians and the Gospel.
    What I have so far… it isn’t easy being a prophet – you doubt yourself, or others doubt you; people don’t always want to hear what you need to say – but you say it anyway -with love.
    Paul called all who follow Jesus’ teaching to love first and foremost, if we listen with love – then the prophet’s words bear fruit.
    For the first introductory talk (we don’t call it kids time, as we never know if there’ll be kids in church) I’m talking about seeing and not seeing (having had the Corinthians read first) with images of mirror writing, mirror images and reflections… on our own we can’t see clearly. With God. With Love we can see…

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  10. After the luxury of editing, I have a still slightly longer than usual sermon. It’s not full of bells and whistles or one of my more exciting sermons, but it is the beginning, I hope, of a wider conversation in our community about dealing with change – in worship, and in life – and the reality of old traditional expectations not being workable any more. How do we cherish beloved traditions, let go of less helpful ones, and learn to embrace new things…without killing each other in the process! And, also, how do *we* take it on, and make sense of it within our own context, rather than just passively letting stuff happen?
    Anyway, I’m done. Off to print the orders of service, transfer service across to tablet, and check the rugby!

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  11. RCL here–the Gospel and maybe a pinch of Jeremiah. A commentary I read got me thinking: maybe those Nazareans, part of the chosen, thought that the home town boy-made-good would bring fame and privilege to them. But he dashes those hopes with talk about outsiders. So what if “chosen” doesn’t so much mean getting those blessings for themselves as it means “chosen” to take those blessings to others? And possibly being thrown off a cliff for their troubles? Maybe that’s obvious to everyone else, but it grabbed me in a different way today, for some reason.

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  12. Using a little of last week’s lectionary because our guest preacher was off-lectionary, to help set the gospel story and then retelling the Elijah and Elisha stories to show how Jesus is teaching that God’s love is boundary and border crossing and ask us to examine where we have created separations and divisions that have no place in the Kingdom of God and who we’ve placed outside. Using a couple of illustrations from Super Bowl hype and the anniversary of the 1960 Greensboro lunch counter sit in to show how the choice to set “us” vs. “them” is persistent but Jesus offers another way.

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  13. Phew! Made it back from vacation at close to 2am this morning, so did things like sleeping in and picking up dog and hearing how cat attacked and chased out (!) neighbor caretaker before turning to 10-day old sermon outline. We are baptizing 2 sisters tomorrow, ages 3 and 3 months, so the sermon is a pretty basic discussion of call based on Jeremiah and Gospel. A little more elaborate on the challenges of call for our second service — no baptism and more throwing off cliff. I am focused on a joyful set of baptisms for parents who are not involved in the church but have recently returned to the state (not geographically close, although the no-longer-involved grandparents are) and maybe someday will be. The father grew up in our congregation and it seems to be mostly about his memories of that as a positive time in his life, but maybe this will encourage him to provide same for his daughters.

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  14. Our local schools were closed 4 days last week because of the winter weather. I grew up in this school district, and my mom taught there for 20+ years – I don’t ever remember so many days off in a row! Considering asking the kids what they would do if church was cancelled because of weather. When they were at home during the week, did they still learn stuff even though they weren’t at school? If they had to stay home on a Sunday, could they still pray and read the Bible anyway?

    Trying to figure out if I can make this work without sounding like I’m encouraging them to stay away from church… what do you think?

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    1. Hmm….such a balance between not shaming them for not doing those things when they’re off, and not encouraging them to stay away because they can do those things anywhere! It has to be possible to say something about how being in community to worship is important, and also connecting with God on our own is important too.
      I know someone who uses the concept of “Found Time” to talk about these kinds of things…when we have a gift of time we didn’t anticipate, like a snow day, how do we use that gift?

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  15. As I expected, here I am. Almost 8 pm here, and I’m just getting started. A facebook query has given me some ideas for an introduction. Hopefully once I get going, it will flow. It’s communion Sunday, so it can be a little bit shorter.

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    1. Hope it’s flowing for you, Monica. I’m stuck on page three at the “turn” of the sermon. Eating brownies while I try figure it out.

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      1. I think all of the other mammals in my house have (finally) settled for the night. At some point today, I lost my ability to block out distractions, so hopefully some quiet will help. Brownies do seem like a good idea, too!

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