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Art Installation by Gardner and Gardner at Church of Scotland General Assembly depicting the sacred ties between earth and heaven that cannot be broken

The General Assembly of the Church of Scotland has been meeting this week in Edinburgh. There has been an air of the spirit and a whiff of hope in much of the business as well as recognition of ordinary and extraordinary everyday acts of love and faith practiced by many. Like the inspiration of Lydia or the man who wanted to be healed, both of which appear as options in the Revised Common Lectionary this week.

Of course, there have also been disappointments in decisions taken, like the refusal to disinvest in fossil fuels. The vote was close but not enough. In the Narrative Lectionary, Paul teaches of a hope that will not disappoint.

Are these the stories and texts that you’re delighting in or wrestling with this week?  Our Lectionary posts on the RCL and the NL from earlier in the week may be helpful.

What about a children’s time, or are there other elements of worship that you need help with or for which you can share ideas? Please leave a comment and let us know how you’re preparing for worship and we can encourage and support one another to be faithful in our calling to give account for the hope that is in us.

 

Rev Liz Crumlish is a Presbyterian minister living on the west coast of Scotland. She is a member of the RevGalBlogPals Board, writes for Spill the Beans, blogs at Journalling and contributed to There’s a Woman in the Pulpit.

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21 thoughts on “11th Hour Preacher Party: Love and Hope with a side of Faith

  1. Well, good morning! Back from London and meeting new granddaughter, and excited that we are celebrating a Celtic service with a focus on creation. I’m off lectionary and into Genesis and psalms and birds of the field to preach about thin places, our band is playing mostly Irish and Welsh music (I think), and the prayers come from Patrick and Brigid and Iona. I’m hoping that some of my photographs from Iona are making it onto the screen. Chocolate croissants, anyone?

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  2. a Baptism at the second service tomorrow, a bright, lively 18 month old who has been coming to our Friday family service since the baptism conversation.
    Struggling with Romans 5 which i find difficult enough to preach to ‘insiders’ let alone with people of various levels of church involvement in the congregation. almost 9 pm Saturday night and 250 words written, hopefully finished soon.
    Also yesterday the house we were buying settled, so some time today at the ‘new’ place, looking at all the work that needs doing.

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  3. The last week of four of our ordination vow words: love. Of course, a kazillion (yes, I am using that word in my sermon) directions one could go. I decided to use the Shema and focus on the part of ‘telling our children’ with a connection to baptismal vows we make. I had a good rough draft and then I read Elizabeth’s Kaeton’s blog post about her conversation in an Uber. Shifting some this morning to use that conversation (with her gracious permission) in the sermon. Hoping to be done fairly early as I want to make the Mayan exhibit at the Natural Sciences Center as it’s last day is Monday.

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  4. Trying to hone an overly busy service into a simple flow. There is so much happening; we are installing 2 new elders, and presenting our Emeritus Elders with pins & grateful thanks, there are several health concerns in the congregation, and churches across the country damaged this week by tornadoes, I want them to start thinking about a “world cafe” we will be holding in two weeks to see of we can lift up some ‘dreams and visions’ of what the future of our congregation might look like and who we are being called to serve… Then, there is the lectionary (preaching John) with the promise of the Holy Spirit and Peace. Lot’s of threads to weave together. Darn, wish I had thought of that soon enough to use the song “Weave us Together” in the service. I’m munching on fresh sweet cherries! Happy to share.

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  5. I’m preaching on Lydia, and, to my surprise, ended up writing a first-person monologue. This is the last I’ll be preaching until June 23, so I felt under some self-imposed pressure to, you know, bring the Word. I think it’s ok. Also unusual: It seems to be done, and it’s so early!

    For me. In my world. Love to all of you! Happy writing. Let me know if a monologue form Lydia’s POV is something you’re interested in. Happy to share.

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  6. Working, oh so slowly, on a sermon about Lydia, hospitality, and the promised Spirit that lives with/within us. Trying to put John 14 and Acts 16 into a conversation that might be at all relevant to my congregation and doesn’t devolve into mere theological swirly talk (to borrow a phrase from Molly Phinney Baskette) Pat Raub I’d love to read your monologue for inspiration!

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  7. Trying to weave Lydia’s story–which I preached in depth 3 years ago–with the John 14 text. Many of my folks have military backgrounds & their attention will be focused on Memorial Day. I am sidestepping my usual avoidance of U.S. civil holiday tie-ins by trying to connect the “farewell discourse” with their personal histories of sacrifice and loss. Seems like the Good News resides in that promise of peace “not as the world gives.”
    It’s also graduation time for many local schools, so I’m thinking about the farewell discourse as a kind of “commencement speech.” And Lydia is the willing, dedicated scholar who takes that lesson and runs with it, to the benefit of her whole household and many beyond…

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  8. This week is when my “leave it till Saturday” habit has come to haunt me. We’re trying to sell our house and had two showings today. So the morning was spent cleaning and spiffing, and the afternoon was spent killing time out of the house. You might note that neither the morning nor the afternoon were spent writing a sermon. So I’m just now getting started.

    I’m trying to combine the Acts 16 and the alternate John 5 reading (healing of the man by the pool). It caught my attention that both of these stories occurred near/at/just inside or outside the city gates. It was intriguing earlier in the week, but I’ve gotten no farther than “intriguing.”

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  9. Ugh. This is one of those weeks when preparing a sermon that seemed straightforward (“What’s it look like when God makes God’s dwelling place with us?”) turns into something gut-wrenching (my loss of a sense of community through many changes in the last six years). I can’t fall apart at the pulpit, but neither can I preach something that doesn’t feel true. So I think I’m going right where I need to. Looking forward to getting to something I can use.

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    1. Aha! We’re using a new-to-them rite, Thanksgiving for a child, for a family that wants to reserve baptism until their child will be able to form memories of it. My deepest sense of belonging, of being “at home” with God was my own baptism at age 13. So I’m going to use that, introduce the rite, and point towards ways we find and share home with one another in Christ.

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