I’m late! It was my birthday yesterday and I got caught up with festivities and some crisis and this party slipped my mind. But here we are. I’m making homemade cinnamon rolls and hosting the party. There’s plenty of coffee too. So pull up a chair and let’s share our ideas for our sermons tomorrow. Or, maybe you are lost and have no idea what you need to say and something here will inspire you. Or, maybe you have a crisis and need prayers? Or, maybe, like me, you’re celebrating and a little distracted. Regardless, the party has started.

Share with us if you are working off of the RCL or NL or some other text, what you hear in the text (if any thing), and where you think the text connects with the people you will speaking too.


The Rev. Terri C. Pilarski is an Episcopal priest serving a parish in Dearborn, Michigan. She’s been a member of RevGalBlogPals since 2006 and blogs at Seeking Authentic Voice.

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



and, there’s also birthday cake to share…57162370441__6A617477-F025-4F91-BC27-D5F999A28F2C

32 thoughts on “11th Hour Preacher Party: late edition

  1. Jeremiah (RCL) for me. I am continuing to lay some groundwork for this interim call and this week it is the “cunning heart” (CEB). The path of discernment as the church begins to ask who they are, where God is leading them and ultimately calling a pastor. I’ve used to ancient fable of the blind men and the elephant…and adapted it Presbyterian-style to provide the start. The idea of the heart as not just being a physical organ but in the Jewish tradition it is the place where we integrate everything and that our shadow sides/blind spots can be valuable teachers in our discernment process. I finally got it finished late Thursday night but since it is “sat” for awhile, I know a fair amount of tweaking will happen this am.

    That cake…oh my!!!! I can already smell the homemade cinnamon rolls, Terri


    1. That was the cake for my grand daughter’s birthday a few days ago. Her mom made it, loads of chocolate, and fabulous. My cake today will be a lemon cake with raspberry mousse….and the dough is rising for the cinnamon rolls…

      now. I really love what you are doing with your interim work, with this church. I so love that area, not far from where I was born and lived. I hope you are enjoying it, even though the Mormon influence can cause some love/hate divisions that need balance….

      Liked by 2 people

  2. Preaching on Acts 9 and facing God’s “U-turns” in our lives. This is part of the “On the Journey” series as our church has plans to close. Have done a lot of thinking and not much writing! But I have a pot of fresh decaf chai.

    Trying to get clarity on the sermon’s focus.


    1. I carpool, and usually when I pick up the high schooler, he waits in the library and I get the younger kids first. On Tuesday, I got him first, when school let out. The younger kids were waiting and I needed to drop off the extras and take my own kids to piano lessons. Not knowing the system when everyone is there when school lets out, I got stuck in a huge line of cars going nowhere and I was actually going the wrong way for where I needed to be. I was getting more and more stressed. Finally, I inched to a place where I could make a U-turn. I did (though I ticked someone off in the doing of it) and was free and flew on my way to the next school. Sometimes a U-turn is absolutely the most freeing thing to do. (Probably not useful for your sermon, but I’ve been thinking about U-turns since Tuesday.) –Wendy


  3. That cake looks good. I have coffee (thanks be to God!) and I am stuck. I have written some words on the text from Luke 6 but it’s not a sermon yet. In a few minutes my saint of a husband (who also made the coffee) will come listen to what I have so I can process out loud a bit. I’m working on the theme of changed perspective. We’ll sing the Getty song “My Worth is Not in What I Own” after the sermon. I just need to figure out how we get there. I think I have the children’s sermon figured out, though, borrowing from a Skit Guys video in which Jesus gives everybody a coke, but everyone gets a different size (little can, big bottle, etc.), the idea being that what we get isn’t a reflection of how much God loves us and so we shouldn’t judge ourselves or one another by that. The sermon needs to talk about how and why we do. Maybe I’m getting there. My deadline is noon so the person making slides can do their work. With God’s help, I’ll get ‘er done.


  4. Happy Birthday, Terri!

    Preaching on hunger and poverty via the Beatitudes, an introduction to themes the congregation has said it is interested in pursuing. Looking forward to a Sunday with nothing extra happening!


  5. I am preaching the Luke text, and am struggling to share the beatitudes and the woes (whoas!) in a way that is inclusive and not exclusive. This article/ weekly conversation has been coming to my inbox for longer than i can remember, and I’ve never actually clicked and read. WOW. I am glad I did today. Both for the Jeremiah text and the Luke. Here are the sentences that popped my eyes open:

    “The understanding that God is powerful and mighty has often led to the justification of the strong crushing the weak. Or, rather, as René Girard tells us, the reverse of this is true. Human culture from the beginning of time has found transcendence in the communal violence against marginalized people – scapegoats, outcasts, and enemies.”

    Here’s the link. Happy preaching friends!


    Liked by 1 person

  6. I’ve preached the Jeremiah and Luke passages twice in the past, and I’m not happy with how either turned out — rereading them, it’s clear I was struggling with the texts. Still am! But maybe a little more coherently this them around. “Mere mortals, mere flesh” (Jeremiah) will let you down — as you get older you find your own body starts to let you down (and I am preaching to an older congregation). And the ones who are X now will one day be minus X, etc. So you need to trust in Something More that won’t let you down. And the comparison (Jeremiah and Psalm 1) between the shrub growing in the desert and the tree planted by the water…As a gardener, I can do things with that. Even the shrub in the desert will grow, but the tree planted by the water has a chance to grow bigger and healthier and…still working on it. BTW I LOVE your granddaughter’s cake. Kudos to her mom for baking it!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I too love to work with gardening imagery. It is curious how texts that we struggle with can one day garner new insight and maybe even a little clarity. I hope that’s what you found today.
      (and yes, the cake was fabulous. The lemon cake with raspberry mousse was a similar recipe, minus the chocolate…and equally fabulous)


  7. Happy Birthday Terri. both cakes sound wonderful.
    I am working with Matthew 13, NL, thinking about the Kingdom of Heaven. I am trying something different this week. While i am preaching, there will be some dot points, and quotes, on the screen. The slide information went to the tech people on Friday afternoon, so last night [Saturday] i wrote the sermon around the slides.
    This afternoon i am going to a Women in Ministry retreat arranged by a group of women in my denomination, and it is only ten minutes away.
    Breakfast time for me,


  8. I suspect I might upset a couple of people tomorrow, but I can’t not preach about gun violence this weekend. Just can’t. I’m praying that the fact that I am trying really hard to stay rooted in the texts (Jeremiah and Luke, false prophets, mere mortals, and the hope of the kingdom) will rescue me from any fallout. Branching out towards the end, though, with a vision of the kingdom in which “Pulse” once more signifies life and love, not death and anger; “Aurora” is the halo around the heavenly bodies glorifying God; the “Tree of Life” is in the cradle of Creation; and “Parkland” is a place of green pastures beside still waters.

    Liked by 4 people

  9. Still struggling to begin. My tiny, elderly congregation doesn’t like to be challenged—they want to be comforted. So this week (Luke) is a challenge for the preacher. I need some of that chocolate cake.

    Liked by 1 person

  10. Also celebrating a birthday here this weekend — my daughter turned 8 today and we had her first sleepover at our house last night! The party went well, and I am tired today. Despite my best intentions earlier in the week, I am not very far along on the sermon, and don’t have much inspiration to work on it. I am focusing more on the Jeremiah text, and want to use the song of the Civil Rights movement, “We Shall Not be Moved” in some way. Thinking about what kind of ground we are rooted in, like the good tree, and how we have to place our trust in that which does not fail — the love of God. I’ve got leftover Galaxy cake in the shape of a number 8 to share! And lots of leftover pepperoni pizza — all the kids wanted plain cheese. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    1. My daughter turned 12 today. She has a handful of friends over to hang out and eat sandwiches. They are playing Twister right now. She and one of her friends decorated a cake earlier today. It nice (and a little wistful) to not be as involved. –Wendy

      Liked by 1 person

      1. “I shall not be moved” actually comes from different places in Scripture: Ps. 62:6 and Ps. 10:6. But I still led off my sermon with that song. A search online turned up at least four different sets of lyrics, all using the same refrain. Interesting.

        Liked by 1 person

  11. I guess I like to party late! Struggling with these texts (Jeremiah & Luke–RCL) along with having a not so good day in recovering from surgery. Prayers appreciated–inspiration and energy tomorrow. Thank you friends!


  12. I pondered blessings and woes with the congregation…how there were times when being poor didn’t feel like a blessing to me (I was homeless with a toddler and even later didn’t have enough to make ends meet)…but that the woe to verses make me squirm today ..in my place in life today. And that maybe these verses are an invitation to Self Check before Lent — to see if we are still following the everlasting light or if we have succumbed to the electric light of the world. It went well…which surprised me.


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