This is how hot it is in Scotland right now. And this is before Mayhem begins!

This weekend marks the start of my church’s annual holiday club, called Mayhem. It’s aptly named, as we will run around like crazy people for twelve hours a day for the next nine days, hoping that children, young people, adults, and volunteers will experience God in a new way. This year we have written a curriculum about learning to be God’s superheroes, by learning the stories of people like Moses and Miriam, Ruth, Esther, the disciples, and Jesus.

Perhaps unsurprisingly, this week in my ongoing summer sermon series on Spiritual Gifts, I’ll be talking about the gifts of Teaching and Evangelism!

How about you? Are you in the midst of a series? Are you following the RCL and enjoying some time in my favourite chapter of Hosea, or pondering storing up treasures in barns? Are you partying in Hebrews with the NL? Or trying to fit something to an event in the community?

Whatever your preaching task might be for this week, you are welcome here. Pull up a chair, grab some virtual snacks (I’ve got ice cream bars, to combat the crazy heat we’re experiencing just now in the west of Scotland!), and share your ideas, struggles, seeds, turns of phrase you’re still working on, inspirations, questions, or procrastination techniques. We’re ready to party, homiletical-style!

Teri Peterson is a minister in the Church of Scotland. She lives along the beautiful Firth of Clyde, where it’s surprisingly warm and sunny and she is very grateful to the church member who owns a corner shop that sells Magnum Bars, as they might be the only way to stay sane during the coming week. She is co-author of Who’s Got Time: spirituality for a busy generation, a board member of RevGalBlogPals, and a contributor to There’s A Woman in the Pulpit.

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16 thoughts on “11th Hour Preacher Party: Mayhem! edition

  1. trying to get my sermon writing mojo back after 2 months without preaching. This was partly due to a broken ankle and also 5 guest preachers in that time. We mainly follow the NL, but in August i am looking at some of the Christmas readings from Luke. When i was planning this i thought we could learn some new Christmas Carols and sing some old ones, but now i am working on the readings i am looking at them quite differently.
    tomorrow is the Angel visiting Zachariah and Mary. After being on retreat for 3 days this week, i am wondering in what ways we sense God’s presence, what does it feel like.
    9 pm on Saturday evening, and i only have 200 words, so ….


  2. Good morning from another beautiful day in Cleveland OH! Preaching a stewardship sermon on gratitude based on the me me me barn guy in Luke. But first, today (and yesterday) is devoted to the wedding of one of my daughter’s oldest friends Chaotic rehearsal yesterday as it is being held in one of Cleveland’s gorgeous historical cultural gardens, so figuring out the geography and choreography was a challenge among a crowd with multiple ideas. Last night at the dinner was the first time the friend doing sound learned about the big fountain right behind us. Ooops. Pastor balancing the secular bride’s side (who all refer to me as the officiant) with the Catholic groom’s side (who refer to me as the reverend). Gorgeous site, gorgeous day, dinner at our glorious art musem, and, best of all, wonderful families, and friends of 25 years, so a
    pretty good gig! Doubtful that I will have any energy left for tomorrow, though.


  3. Bigger Barns, here, but as one of the Working Preacher folks suggested (I read through several cycles of the Lukan commentary), I added the next section about ravens and lilies. I may say something about our mainline protestant buildings from the 50s, 60s, and 70s being something like bigger barns. Or I may not, but it was certainly my first thought, and we really need to be facing the idea that we can’t sustain our building all that much longer. No matter what happens with the building, God will sustain us.
    I also need to do a little clarifying of something a guest preacher said last week.
    Finally, tomorrow is the 1-year anniversary of my father’s death and my (conservative evangelical) mom is with us. She will hear me preach for the first time except my dad’s memorial service. And her spiritual-but-not-religious sister and 9-year-old grandson will also be with us, and are coming over today, so I need to get to work while I can. –Wendy

    Liked by 1 person

  4. My birthday is today! Nothing big planned, but began the day with quiet and birthday greetings on Facebook. Tomorrow we have ordination and installation, and communion, so the “homily” will be shorter than usual. Using the Luke text and pondering ways to link it to the celebrations in worship.

    Liked by 2 people

  5. I’m thinking Marie Kondo and what sparks joy (note: I’m not a huge fan, but I think she has some good ideas, even if most of my house doesn’t show it). At first, I thought it was just about following the rules. Then I thought it was about feeling organized, then about gaining a sense of control. Now I’m to understanding it as a way of living one’s priorities and focus. That path strikes me as a reasonable way into a discussion of today’s gospel. Stewardship–not just of money/stuff, but of life itself–can devolve to just following the rules: is that 10% before or after taxes? Or it can be a guiding principle that helps us live faithfully. But even more, it’s a reflection of following Jesus; when we try to value what God values, we find joy in people and relationships and justice, in the reign of God, and that lightens the burden of tending to our stuff.
    In the last 4 months, I’ve helped clear out the homes of 3 people who have died, and I’ve worked with my mom as she’s clung to a whole lot of belongings despite moving to a space 1/3 the size. All of this has had me reflecting in big and small ways on my relationship to things…what does my stuff mean to me? How does it enliven or burden my life? Is it how I want my story told? Not exactly sure where all this will go; it may be one of those sermons that’s more pondering than instructional or making a point.

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  6. Today was nearly 8 hours in the church doing set-up and last-minute programme discussions trying to get ready for the week…things are shaping up nicely which is good as I confess that a few days ago I was getting worried! I’ve managed to come home, eat something, and do a bit of thinking about the Bible Study and communion service for the Mayhem team tomorrow night, and the communion bread for that is in the oven now. But for the morning? Nothing yet. My whole body is tired and the actual programme hasn’t even started yet. I’m strongly considering going to sleep (at 9pm!) and writing a sermon in the morning. I don’t think it needs to be quite as long as usual as I have a guest children’s time (by the holiday club actors), and commissioning of the team…I can probably get away with about 1000 – 1200 words at the most. But given that I have zero ideas for what those thousand words might be….other than that they are about the spiritual gifts of teaching and evangelism, and about the story of the Ethiopian Eunuch!

    Liked by 1 person

  7. And suddenly my light-hearted Marie Kondo sermon seems entirely off-base; at least 20 people dead and 26 injured (as of 5:15 in California) from a shooting in El Paso, Texas. Again. Preaching seems inadequate, as I’ve already done that in response to so many of these. We have our vacation bible school musical at 2 of our services, so I’m only preaching at an early service with about 20 people. Thoughts or ideas, anyone? I’m considering some way for people to take time for prayer and quiet…maybe lighting candles? Some silent reflection/prayer? On previous occasions, we’ve given people the names of victims to include in the prayers, but honestly, that’s losing its impact (and how sad is that?).


  8. Am preaching Hosea 11: 1-11 (where “The sword rages in their cities… ? My heart recoils within me; my compassion grows warm and tender. I will not execute my fierce anger”) in dialogue with Colossians 3: 1-1 as “God’s choice”: “Therefore, as God’s choice, holy and loved, put on compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness, and patience. Be tolerant with each other… ” (CEB). As God is merciful, we are to show mercy; as God chooses to forgive and to nurture us, so also are we… Very rough draft.
    And I hear God speak the words of Mr. Rogers to those victims and to the victimizers, and to each of us: “I hope that you’ll remember Even when you’re feeling blue, That it’s you I like,It’s you yourself,It’s you—It’s you—I—like!”

    Liked by 1 person

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