No matter how late Easter is, it always feels like T-Fig just happened not that long ago. Here we are again, traipsing up a mountain, wondering what on earth (or in heaven) is going on, and trying to decide if we’re going to be more like Peter talking about buildings, or more like James and John dumbstruck/looking at the ground/rolling our eyes at Peter.

And then all too soon we’ll make the turn down the mountain, into the lonesome shadowed valley of Lent, shiny Jesus a mere memory until this time next year when it’ll feel like it was yesterday.

How are you climbing that mountain this week, friends? What sustenance do you need for the journey? The RCL and NL posts may help, and the virtual snack bar is open for all your T-Fig needs.

Let’s get this dazzling party started!


Teri Peterson is a minister in the Church of Scotland. She lives along the beautiful Firth of Clyde, where today is decidedly less than dazzling, and the clouds are not very bright, and the voice of the cat is the only thing currently calling out. She is co-author of Who’s Got Time: spirituality for a busy generationWho’s Got Time: spirituality for a busy generation, a board member of RevGalBlogPals, and a contributor to There’s A Woman in the Pulpit.


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 to the specific post. For permission to use material in paper publications, please email revgalblogpals at gmail dot com.

33 thoughts on “11th Hour Preacher Party: T-Fig time again!

  1. Bobby Williamson’s article (cited in the NL Tuesday post) is saving my bacon this week. And I just got a new stole in the mail today that is a lenten stole showing the journey to the cross, so I can’t wait for Lent! It’s been a horrible week for politics (both in the broader church, in DC, and in my state of Idaho–which somehow couldn’t vote to raise the legal marriage age to 16 because….wtf?). So I’m going to a movie tonight. And then will figure out how we get down the mountain to deal with the stuff that needs to be dealt with tomorrow.

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        1. It’s linked in the NL post (which is linked in this post).
          I’m on my iPad so it’s a lot of steps to copy it here but that’s how you can find it. He also shared it in the NL Facebook group.

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  2. I have a baptism this weekend, plus the praise band is leading part of the service which means an extra song, so realistically my sermon space is very very short. I’m not sad about this, as I currently have no coherent plans, just some scattered notes after a week of having a cold and therefore not thinking as clearly as usual.

    I am also strongly considering the possibility of ordering a takeaway for Saturday lunch/dinner….we’ll see if I feel like cooking (and have an idea for what to cook) when the time rolls around. A trip down to the chip shop (which has a new pizza oven) may be in order…

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  3. I hate it when I pay for one of those series packages that includes a book for groups to study together, great videos to spark discussion, lesson plans for kids that go along with each week’s theme, and sermon outlines to tie it all together …. and just when I’m thinking “this will be easy; they give me a sermon outline, for crying out loud!” I realize the outline is flimsy and not like anything I ever preach and I am going to have to start from scratch after all. Just like every week. Except, of course, I didn’t do any homework earlier in the week because, you know, I had this purchased outline that was going to bail me out. But it didn’t.

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  4. I am trying so hard–if you don’t count time out for texting, FB, household chores, tax prep, email–to get my sermon done by tonight, because my Saturday is really full. I’m 2/3rds done, but I have to keep reminding myself that 66% is not 100%! My sister, who lives on the other side of the country and has never heard me preach, will be in church on Sunday (prior to speaking to the congregation about her work last week with refugees in Tijuana ❤ ), and that alternately feels very easy and particularly stressful, because I want her to like the sermon.
    Mostly talking about how Jesus perhaps knew P, J & J would need the memories of that glory in the weeks and months to come in order to keep listening and following rather than giving up. Also about the cloud…that confusing and scary time of turning from one way of engaging life to another. Pretty happy with what I have; I just need more! Maybe I can find a good T'fig poem. Any ideas?

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    1. I wonder if the David Whyte poem “Cleave” could help. He talks about cleaving having two meanings, to stick together and to cut apart, and that’s what entering new life is like….

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    2. Thanks for the ideas! That’s really helpful; I just wasn’t finding anything that stirred my juices.
      Prayers for all as you write, and I have some granola bars to offer as you climb the mountain of sermon-writing, along with prayers that a voice speaks from the cloud!

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  5. For my fellow PC(USA) preachers…this Sunday is also Celebrate the Gifts of Women Sunday. I got a package of liturgical resources from our Racial Equity and Women’s Intercultural Ministries. This year’s theme is “God’s Grace Has No Boundaries,” and one of the scripture suggestions is Acts10:34-43. The resources may be on the PC(USA) website, although I haven’t checked. For those who may want to preach on God’s boundary-less grace and love, particularly in light of the vote this week by our friends in the United Methodist Church, here’s your chance.

    I live in New Orleans, where it is The Sunday Before Mardi Gras, where few people come to church on this day, and the worship time has been moved up an hour to accommodate people who want to go to the parades later or just get out before the crowds make it hard to get home. So a short sermon is in order. Mine is written, but because it focuses on our local traditions, I don’t think it would be particularly helpful to post it here for a worldwide audience. Just know it has a prayer in it for people who are still in the midst of a snowy winter. We are done with winter here. Sorry. Your spring is coming, too..eventually.

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  6. a long week, not necessarily that many extra hours, but some long pastoral conversations – i wonder at how messy some people’s lives are.
    Working with the NL, and i extended the reading back to 16:13 – who do people say that I am? I have reused part of a previous transfiguration sermon, and while the outcome doesn’t excite me, i am sure it will be fine.
    not starting form scratch means i am finished and it is only;y 10.00 pm Saturday night.

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    1. I too am extending the reading back. But having just remembered to look at previous t-fig sermons, I find I have none from Matthew! I am very proficient at finding reasons to be gone for this Sunday of the church calendar, lol!
      Glad you have something to work with and may get an early night. Happy Sunday!

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  7. I’m with Kathy and preaching Gifts of Women (PCUSA). It’s a long story on why that is. I looked at the resources from the denomination and thought ‘meh’. So I ditched them and am preaching on Rahab instead. She is never preached in the RCL (except for a mention in Hebrews 11) so she deserves her day.

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  8. Hello All,

    Yesterday I wrote my T-Fig sermon in the morning — a pretty basic here is a mountaintop experience, here is the consequential trip down the mountain into mission — and my Ash Wed sermon, which is essentially an introduction to our Lenten focus on food and hunger via an explanation of fasting as a spiritual practice, in the afternoon. Today I am cleaning house and planning our confirmation/youth retreat and trying to recruit help, as our youth director has an unexpected family matter that will absent her. Next Sunday evening, we have an evensong service planned by our organist with a guest preacher on spiritual practices in general. I am not sure why the organist was so determined to bring in a guest since programs and retreats on spiritual practices is a thing I do, but he didn’t ask me — so ok, I don’t have to do it this time. I’m good with that!

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    1. Hey Robin, I’m also doing a food and justice theme for Lent, I’d love to hear where you are going with this….share ideas…

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  9. It has been quite a week here. Things are picking up at incredible speed for A Place of Grace, and having been sick in bed for ten days earlier in the month, I was feeling not-as-prepared for the UCC Pastors’ Sabbath retreat I designed and implemented on Wednesday and Thursday as I wanted to be. Everything went well in the end, but now I — who served for thirteen years as the Youth and Families Pastor and never had opportunity to preach the big deal Sundays — am not only behind on sermon prep for this week, but looking at several weeks of preaching in Lent with nothing to pull from. It’s both exciting and terrifying at the same time. LOL I know God will provide, but God and I are going to need to have a conversation about timing because my FIL is on his honor flight today, and we have to be at the airport to welcome him home at 6 p.m. No Saturday evening writing for me. This baby needs to be put to bed early! So … on the Exodus passage and how time away with God illumines our hearts and minds in unexpected ways. Thank you, UCC pastors for providing sermon illustrations! AND … wonder of wonders … I’m in a UCC church this Sunday! Here we go …..

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  10. I explored the why behind the two stories in the Luke Transfiguration text. They seem so disconnected at first. But then we see how God’s holiness is revealed in both the mysterious and the physical. J Clinton McCann (Working Preacher) writes in the Psalm 99 commentary about God’s holiness not being “wholly other” and I played with that and also with a colleague’s words about a story “drenched in glory” and Fr. Richard Rohr’s “Chris-soaked world.” Lots of both/and for my Lutheran congregation!

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  11. Determined to give myself a break and work in part of my Year A Transfig sermon (I went with something else in Year B). The big as-yet-unanswered question is whether that will actually take more time. For my little traditional congregation that always wants to be sure the stone is holding, everything seems to be about accepting change. So it will be something like “if we don’t get out of the shelter and the cloud, we won’t be able to do God’s work where it’s needed.” Or something.

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  12. Managed to rework the outline that came with our Lenten book study. https://pastorsings.com/2019/03/02/listen-to-him-sermon-on-luke-928-36-for-transfiguration-c/ Meanwhile, I will be reading the pastoral letter from the UMC Council of Bishops in the wake of General Conference, and offering a prayer early in the service for those hurt and questioning whether they can continue as part of the UMC. Have had so many cups of coffee this week with people who are in discernment, people who are curious, and people who are hostile to change. I wonder if they realize they go to church with each other.

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  13. It’s past my bedtime but I have something vaguely preachable. I hope to wake up and discover it’s far more inspiring and invitational than I think it is right now…especially with so many visitors tomorrow for the baptism. I can tell my preaching is in a bit of a big-picture moment, with lots of concepts and not many specifics. Perhaps in Lent I’ll also go down the mountain to more nitty gritty examples/ideas/touchstones. But for now, it’s nearly 1am and I actually finished almost an hour ago but have been wasting time on facebook instead of going to bed, so I can’t even blame anything but myself for my tiredness tomorrow!
    I hope you all are finding words flow freely and you have courage to preach them, whatever they may be. As we often used to say around here: remember, the Holy Spirit’s got your back.

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  14. Tomorrow is my last Sunday with a very special congregation that welcomed me in 6 months ago as their “interim associate”. I actually feel like my job here has really been to learn how to let them love me, with all of my flaws and failures. I have this haunting suspicion that I’ll never find another place as wonderful as this, which is why I relate so well to Peter wanting to pitch a few tents and stay on that mountaintop. The road from here is still so uncertain and deep down I wish I could just stay.
    Question is, do I dare say this out loud tomorrow? Staying is certainly not the plan. The new guy starts next week and I need to move on. Still, nothing else will ever come close to comparing to this.

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    1. I think you can say it in a way that honors the blessing the congregation has been to you and your time together, and also recognizes the need to move on, as Peter needed to go back down the mountain. It sounds like a lovely way to connect the text with your leave-taking. May you find peace in new beginnings!

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    2. Dawn, I think you can say something like that tomorrow, as long as you then say something like, “I know you’ll be just as welcoming and accepting and loving of , so that he will be able to see Christ in your midst.” IMO, a final sermon needs to be about the church and their future, not about the pastor. Blessings in the saying goodbye–it’s hard!

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  15. I spent the beginning of the week at a clergy retreat and then went to see my parents due to my mother entering hospice care. I’m feeling very much like the father on the valley floor desperate for his child’s healing and frustrated until Jesus comes to work the miracle. Somehow God is present in both the mountaintop and valley experiences. Since the body of Christ may experience both of them simultaneously, I’m wondering how we engage with one another as both are true.

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  16. Checking in late. I’m editing and shortening a sermon from several years ago. T-Fig is not my favorite, so it mostly focuses on the extension of the RCL reading, with the desperate father. We’ll have communion, and a report from this weekend’s Presbytery meeting, and I feel compelled to say a few words about our own commitment to LGBT folks, in light of the United Methodist’s decisions this week. So I probably need to shorten the sermon even more!

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