This Week!
2007-10-22 by David Howell

Susan Sparks is our guest preaching blogger. Susan is an attorney, a standup comedian, and "Senior Pastor of the historic Madison Avenue Baptist Church in New York City—the first woman in its 158 year history! Her work has been featured on such networks as CNN and the Discovery Channel, in the LA Times and USA Today, and in numerous comedy clubs, including Caroline’s Comedy Club in New York City. Currently, Susan appears weekly with Naomi Judd on Naomi's New Morning airing Sunday mornings on Hallmark Channel" (from her website www.susansparks.com). "Susan has traveled from the Arctic Circle to the Cape of Good Hope, run a dog sled team, sung country music in Nashville, worked with Mother Teresa’s mission in Calcutta and trained as both a wilderness guide and a fly fisherwoman. She is also a recent cancer survivor."

We look forward to Susan's posts this week along with all the regulars...Dave, Dee Dee, Tom, and Rick.

Tom Steagald reviews The War by Ken Burns in Share It! There is a terrific homemade blue cheese dressing recipe in Divine Cuisine. I normally don't like blue cheese dressing, but I love that one.

It was a busy weekend in Sermon Feedback Cafe. Some folks are still talking to David von Schlichten about his sermon on Sunday. We had some interesting guests to drop in...a bus load of folks from Outside the Box Presbyterian Church in Roswell, New Mexico. They were on their way to the Wittenburg Castle Church in Germany to celebrate Reformation Sunday. They wanted to see if we were sufficiently "reformed" in the Cafe. We nailed them though when they saw on the menu the Calvin Crab Salad on a Bed of Ninety-Five Theses. (In addition to the material in Lectionary Homiletics this week, Reformation Sunday and All Saints' Day material can be found in Unlectionary and Back Issues/Sermons.)





In the Cafe!
2007-10-19 by David Howell

Special today is Thai Iced Coffee.

While you're sipping away, give David von Schlichten some constructive feedback on his sermon this week: What's the Use? Tom Steagald and some of the regulars are over at the corner table with David now.

And a couple of folks are sharing some strategies for handing Advent anxiety with Pastor Phil in Parish Solution Forum.

Go back to Homepage and then to Share It! for Sermon Feedback Cafe or Parish Solution Forum. There was a line, but Chef John Paul brought in some extra tables. Click Submit Your Own to offer suggestions.





Parish Solution Forum
2007-10-18 by David Howell

Pastor needs some suggestions in Parish Solution Forum. It's something we've all had to deal with and something coming up real soon!

What do you do?

Go back to Homepage and then to Share It! and Parish Solution Forum. Click Submit Your Own to offer suggestions.





A Painful Experience
2007-10-18 by Rick Brand

Four clergy from Henderson, NC, have been a week now in Iona. It has been a marvelous experience for us. The community, the liturgy, the music, and the tradition. But one of the painful questions has been "Where is the preacher?" They have worship leaders, but we have only heard one traditional sermon. It was average. But preaching does not seem to matter much. The story is told, and the intentionality of the community is lived out, but the preaching of a Festival of Homiletics is absent over here.  And I must confess, having spent most of my life trying to be a better preacher, that I have not missed it.  We worship. We pray. We sing. Oh, how we sing great contemporary music. We have liturgy.  But where is the preacher?



Ron Allen, Highlights from this Week's Articles in "Lectionary Homiletics"
2007-10-16 by David von Schlichten

Ron Allen's excellent blog entries for this Sunday are down past this one. He has especially powerful reflections on prayer that you will want to meditate upon.

At the samples section for this coming Sunday is a nourishing exegesis that you will want to digest.

Here are highlights from this week's articles:

"Theological Themes"

Robert K. Gnuse explores the issue of hermeneutics and Scripture's authority as a response to 3:16, which declares that all Scripture is, not infallible, but inspired by God and useful for helping us to live as Christians.

Gnuse writes that this verse does not promise that Scripture is a perfect source of scientific or historical information. Rather, the real purpose of the Bible is to build up religious faith.

"Pastoral Implications"

Mary Clark Moschella eloquently writes about the practice of faith, proclaiming that we are to be about the "habit of practicing faith" and that such habits will help us through hard times, times when our hearts might be running low on fervor. We are to work at faith during both "favorable and unfavorable" times, as the passage says.

"Sermon Reviews"

Dennis Bolton summarizes a sermon by William Willimon in which Willimon draws from the work of Richard Hays to offer six suggestions for Bible reading:

1. The Bible is to be read in community.

2. A person must be trained to read the Bible.

3. Readers must rediscover the capacity to read the Bible imaginatively.

4. Read the whole Bible.

5. We must read the whole Bible as Israel's story.

6. We must read the Bible as the church's story.

(p.22)

"Preaching the Lesson"

Anthony Dean Bailey sees this text as ideal for preachers because of the guidance it gives regarding that tricky, beautiful craft. "Be urgent, be steady, endure suffering" (p.23) are some priceless bits of advice from the text for us preachers. 

Be sure to stop by the "Sermon Feedback Cafe" and other exciting places at Share It! (Go back to Homepage and click on Share It!)

Yours in Christ,

David von Schlichten, poedifier





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