It’s that time of the week again, the time when one really can’t procrastinate one’s sermon-writing much longer, can one? Revised Common Lectionary preachers might be resurrecting Tabitha/Dorcas, or otherwise exploring Good Shepherd texts. Narrative Lectionary preachers are traveling with Paul and Barnabas. Maybe you’ve come up with a post-Easter series, or (in the U.S.) want to say something about Mother’s Day, ever so cautiously.

My own sermon so far, features my no-longer-a-puppy schnauzer, Daisy. So here is a gratuitous photo of her, to cheer up your day. She’s pretty cute, when she’s not pestering me incessantly.


Share your joys and concerns, epiphanies and frustrations right here. Ask for help, and offer it. Peace be with you, preachers.


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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22 thoughts on “11th Hour Preacher Party:

  1. I am on week two of using four different words found in the ordination vows all elders/deacons/pastors make in the PCUSA. This week is imagination and Jonah is the backdrop. The congregation and kids have interactive parts in the sermon. The last congregation I did this in…loved participating. Fingers crossed for tomorrow. In the end, I circle back to the three days in the belly of the big fish and using that as a place of discernment since I am in an interim context. We just formed the Mission Study Team and hope their work will be complete by Sept and then on to the search committee process.


    1. Elaine, how do you have the congregation interact? Reading scripted parts? Or is your imagination much, much better than mine? I’m wondering about developing something in conjunction with our outdoor Balloon Rally worship in July. Any ideas would be helpful, for sure.


      1. Carol, I had found a two person narration last year (and either there was no attribution or I forgot to save it) and I’ve tweaked it with words and actions. There are four groups which have an action every time their word is mentioned. Group I: Jonah and this time the kids will blowing their horns (think New Year’s Eve). Group 2: Nivevah which will be half the congregation and they say “Beep, Beep” since it was a bustling city. God 3 is the choir and they are the ship and their action is to sway with their hands. (Last year the choir really got into it and groaned and moaned like being sea-sick. I don’t look for the choir here to do that.) Group 4 is God and that will be other half of the congregation and they yell “Yay, God!”


  2. 11pm Saturday night and I am calling it donePaul, Barnabas and Us. i am tired, and looking forward to annual leave starting on Thursday. i am hoping that i like this better after some sleep.
    blessings to those at the start of the day.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. I’m a narrative lectionary preacher, but this week it’s the Youth Service, when all the youth organisations (Boys Brigade, Girl Guides, etc) parade in and take a part in leading, and so the church will be packed, mainly with people who rarely attend worship…lots of them children.There’s a lot going on in the service, plus it’s the beginning of Christian Aid Week, so I thought I’d jump out of the NL this week and go with Tabitha.
    I have zero idea what I’m actually going to say, but the theme for Eastertide is “fullness of life” and Christian Aid week is all about helping people who live with poverty, so…I’ll probably end up focusing on how Tabitha “was always doing good and helping the poor” and the women who mourn her loss show Peter the fruits of her labour. But what I have to say about that, in about 8 minutes, I don’t know yet.
    I have to figure it out soon because tonight is a Boys Brigade programme (the end of session display for the oldest group), so I’ll be out late….but in the meantime, I have Percy Pigs to share! 🙂


    1. Sounds like a full Sunday! Afternoon nap will be required! I think the Tabitha connection does seem natural. Thanks for Percy Pigs, though I don’t know what they are; I’m sure they’re delicious.

      Liked by 1 person

        1. Oh, that sounds fun. You are quite brave to leave the sermon till Sunday morning. Sleep well, and may the sermon fairy leave just the right thing.


  4. Elaine, I’m going to tuck your idea for the ordination vows sermon series under my hat! Have NEVER thought about connecting Jonah to “imagination”!

    As for me, tomorrow’s sermon is “The Power of the 23rd Psalm” — the way we incorporate those words into our faith lives. How it is a message about God’s presence, protection, and… (need another “p” word!). The Holy Spirit will provide that third word…


    1. providence?

      I don’t think I’ve ever preached on the 23rd psalm, now that you mention it. We’re saying it in unison as a call to worship.


    2. Kathy, those four words, energy/imagination/intelligence/love, are my favorite part of the entire ordination/installation process. Betting your congregation will enjoy the 23rd Psalm as it is such a favorite of so many.

      Liked by 1 person

  5. I’m putting Jesus’ words re: my sheep know my voice & follow me in conversation with Tabitha’s ministry to the widows in her community. I did some research and discovered that a few people who helped originate Mother’s Day did so because they wanted to promote peace, reconciliation, and other community building ideas. I’m hoping this way I can address the holiday without letting grief over my mother’s death this year overwhelm me.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. I keep telling myself that some year, I want to preach that “Mother’s Day is a day for peace and reconciliation on a global scale” sermon.

      Peace to you in your grief.


  6. Promise. The third word is promise. God’s “always.” “Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me all the days of my life, and I will dwell in the house of the Lord forever.”

    Liked by 1 person

  7. Kathy, thank you. Your thoughts just helped clear my head and settle 3 separate working sermons into one cohesive idea. I love hearing what everyone is working on and struggling with. You are all such inspirations. Oh, and if you are wondering – the sermon is The Lord is my Shepherd/Mother. I am incorporating some of the words of Julian of Norwich into the service and Bobby McFarrens “Psalm 23” into our prayer time.

    Liked by 2 people

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