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Friday Five Warm-Up for Sermonatin'

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Oh, wow--I have been lax. ANd no excuse except laziness--I am not extraordinarily busy or anything.  So, as procrastination a warm-up exercise for my sermon, the RevGals Friday Five (only ONE day late):  1. What song are you grooving to these days? I have discovered PostModern Jukebox, a group that takes music of today and re-creates it as the music of yesteryear. One of my faves is Lorde's "Royals" as sung by Puddles Pity Party (The Sad Clown with the Golden Voice):
2. If YOU were a room in your home, what would it be, and why? Well, there's an interesting question. I would like to think I am a living room/lounge/salon, welcoming all kinds of people and having all kinds of conversation. 3.  What ever happened to LipSmackers?  Does anyone remember that lip balm from the 70's?  Do you have a recommendation for a really awesome lip balm? Yes, I remember them! I had watermelon and chocolate cherry flavours! I like Burt's Bees--comes in plain and lipstick colours. 4…

Rev Gals Friday Five (a day late)---O Christmas Tree!

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Five for the Christmas tree! 
1) Real tree, or “fake?” For most of my life, it was real trees only. Then my son developed asthma…and it was artificial trees for many years. Now I don’t actually put up a tree at all—mainly due to the lack of space in my apartment. I do put up a crèche and other decorations, I just don’t have the floor space for even a small tree.
2) White or colored lights? Coloured, absolutely. I admire the beauty of all-white lights on a tree (and agreed, they are more candle-like) but I love the warmth of all the colours, red, blue, gold, purple, blue, orange, green, reflecting on the pine needles and the ornaments.
3) When do you put up and take down your tree? It went up the second Saturday of December, usually, depending on other events (holiday parties, concerts, visitors, etc.). I hope to get my Christmas decorating done today, if I can get the sermon done and quit procrastinating . Take down was usually New Year's Day or the Saturday after, when I was growin…

Friday Five--the Advent of Advent

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Five Things About Advent

1. I love Advent--there is something about the expectation, the preparations, both in the church and in the world, that makes this such a time of possibility. It is a sad truth that Advent is a busy time for clergy. Just when I would like to be settling in for quiet contemplation and preparation, I am busy with preparations for our congregation's annual meeting, the Pride Centre's annual meeting, extra worship services, and my own holiday planning.

2. My image of Advent is a candle on a windowsill--waiting, watching, hoping, prepared, for the One who will come in the dark night. There's also a sense of safety, warmth, and coziness that I think is born of my memories of coming home on wintry Michigan afternoons, cold and possibly wet, from the walk home from the bus stop, the light from the stars we hung in our windows casting a soft golden glow of invitation, guiding me home.

3. My most poignant memories of Advent are of the year I was expecting my so…

Narrative Lectionary Prayers for November 16, 2014

Call to Worship One: Come, my friends! It is time! Many: We were glad when they said to us, it is time to worship. One: Come and celebrate our God! Many: We have received so much from God’s bounty—the material needs of life, grace, hope, and love.
One: Come, give thanks and celebrate!
Reconciliation/Assurance of Pardon One: My friends, we are only human. Many: And that is grief enough to bow a ruler’s head and honour enough to lift a beggar’s head. One: Let us go to God in prayer and contrition. Holy One, we know we have not done what we should have done; and sometimes we did what we should not have. Many: We have ignored the needy; turned away our friends; used our gifts and graces for minor things instead of bringing about your realm. One: We could not bring ourselves to do what we knew you would have us do. For all these, we ask with confidence for your grace and forgiveness, and resolve to be our better selves. Many: We know that you have forgiven us before we ask; therefore we thank you, H…

Narrative Lectionary Prayers and Communion November 9, 2014

Call to Worship One: Once again, we are here. Many: We have come looking for comfort, for refreshment, for another taste of God’s presence in our lives. One: It is good for us to be here.
Many: And it is good for us to take the good news, the comfort, the refreshment, into the world for those who need them.
Reconciliation One: It has been another week, O God, and once again we must admit to stumbling. Many: Once again, we have not done what we wished to do, or done it poorly. One: Forgive our weakness, give us strength and courage to do what we know is right. Many: For we know that nothing can separate us from your love. Amen. One: My friends, before we have asked, God has forgiven us. In the name of Christ, we are forgiven! Many: We are forgiven! Thanks be to God!
Communion One: Lift up your hearts! Many: We lift them up to our living God! One: God of all creation, you made humans in your image, giving us your divine impulse to create and do new things. But in our arrogance, we took the earth as a…

Friday Five--Sweet or Salty?

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The RevGals Meme this Friday is abiout Halloween treats! Practicing for next week, Deb says.

So here we go.


1. Sweet or salty, the gotta-have treat.
This is a tough one, actually. I love chocolate-peanut butter confections, so Snickers bars, Reese's, and ice cream containing these items are winners, as are DQ's Peanut Buster Parfaits. But then I like the nougatty stuff in 3Musketeers, and the cool bite of Junior Mints (best movie treat, hands down!). Cinnamony things are good too. And gummy bears! Oh, and candy corn!
That's the sweet side...
Salty? Chex mix. Absolutely. Although popcorn with Old Bay spice is quite tasty too. Until they make Chex mix with Old Bay. Then I am toast.
For the win, though, is a mix of salty and sweet--I love all the salted caramel stuff and a friend makes caramel and chocolate-dipped pretzel rods that are to die for. And of course Ben & Jerry's Chubby Hubby ice cream.

2. How do I stay strong with all that temptation (especially this time …

Narrative Lectonary Liturgy for October 26, 2014

Sorry I missed last week! I have seen a lot more resources popping up in the Facebook group, which is a Good Thing! 

Here's my take on the Narrative Lectionary readings for October 26, in case someone still needs something. 

Call to Worship One:  We’ve travelled a long way! Many: A very long way! But we are here to celebrate God’s love and wisdom! One: I was glad when they said to me, “Let’s go to worship God!”
Many: Let’s go to worship God!
Reconciliation One: Eternal Wisdom, we have not been wise. We have stumbled and fallen; we have knowingly done what we should not have done and left undone what we should have done. Many: We have not cared for our brothers and sisters who are in need: of food, shelter, protection, a smile, a helping hand. One: We have not been present for our sisters and brothers who needed us: encouragement, a listening ear, a visit, simple comfort, or even just a cup of tea and conversation.  Many: Forgive us our weakness and give us a fresh anointing of your love and…

Narrative Lectionary Liturgy Bits--October 12, 2014

Here's what I came up with for the Call to Worship and Benediction. I have also been using two resources, Bread for the Journey (ed., Ruth Duck) and Touch Holiness (ed. Ruth Duck and Maren Tirabassi; seems to be out of print) with of course due credit given! They use inclusive language, too, which I appreciate. They are mostly arranged around the church year, so they can be used with either lectionary cycle.
Call to Worship One: We are mortal, and our days are like grass; we flourish like a flower of the field; the wind blows over it and it is gone, and lost to memory. Many: But from everlasting to everlasting God’s love is with those who revere God, and God’s blessings with their descendants, with those who listen to God’s instructions and keep God’s covenant. One: Praise God, you angels who do God’s bidding and who obey God’s word.  Many:  Praise the Eternal One, all the heavenly hosts, you God’s servants who do God’s  will.  Praise God, O my soul.
(from Psalm 103)
Benediction One: As…

Friday Five, I've Fallen and I Can't Get Up Edition

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The RevGals meme this week is about the down times in our lives. 

"For today’s FF, share with us five things you learned about coping with such a situation. These can be practical tips from the perspective of one needing care or one giving care, or maybe some personal insights gleaned from the experience. Or, anything related, like a humorous situation that resulted."

Well, this one is easy for me. About six years ago, I dealt with breast cancer (see the tag "It's Nothing" here). My experiences with recovering from surgery and then surviving chemotherapy and radiation treatment give me a lot of fodder! 

So here we go--

1. Healing takes energy, including mental/spiritual energy.  I knew I would be tired a lot, and be spending a lot of time on the couch/in bed. I had ideas of using all that down time for catching up on my professional reading, maybe working on a book idea I had, reading all the books in my To Be Read pile, walks by the river for exercise... Yeah, so …

Lectionary Liturgy October 5, 2014

Call to Worship One: Holy One, you have written your law of love on our hearts. Many: We give thanks for your guidance and wisdom. One: This is a celebration of our God’s love for us! Many: How can we respond to God’s love except with joy and celebration? Amen!
Reconciliation One: Eternal One, here we are again. We have again failed to live up to our best selves. Many: We have not loved, we have not shared, we have not cared as we intended. One:  Give us wisdom and courage to try again
Many: Knowing that your grace forgives us, we will rise and try again, with your love to guide us. Amen.
Communion One: God is with you! Many: And also with you! One: Lift your hearts to the One who loves you. Many: We lift our spirits in joy to our Creator. One: Ever-Living God, you gave humankind free choice and laws to guide us in the use of that free choice. When we forgot your love and turned away, you sent prophets and wise men and women to remind us, but we persisted in following our own way. In your love, you…

"Exodus to Egypt” September 28, 2014, MCC Windsor (Narrative Lectionary)

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Exodus 14:10-14, 21-29 As Pharaoh approached, the people of Israel looked up and panicked when they saw the Egyptians overtaking them. They cried out to God, and they said to Moses, “Why did you bring us out here to die in the wilderness? Weren’t there enough graves for us in Egypt? What have you done to us? Why did you make us leave Egypt? Didn’t we tell you this would happen while we were still in Egypt? We said, ‘Leave us alone! Let us be slaves to the Egyptians. It’s better to be a slave in Egypt than a corpse in the wilderness!’” But Moses told the people, “Don’t be afraid. Just stand still and watch God rescue you today. The Egyptians you see today will never be seen again. God own self will fight for you. Just stay calm.” Then Moses raised his hand over the sea, and God opened up a path through the water with a strong east wind. The wind blew all that night, turning the seabed into dry land. So the people of Israel walked through the middle of the sea on dry ground, with walls of …

Friday Five--Fall Goodies!

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It's Friday, and you know what that means... Yes, a Friday Five from the RevGals! This week, to celebrate fall, we're looking at yummy stuff...always a favourite of mine. So here we go... 1. What's your best homemade treat? Is it worth all the effort? (It doesn't have to be something canned.) I used to make apple butter every year. I lived in the Washington DC area at the time, and we would take a Sunday afternoon, drive out into the country for lunch somewhere, and stop at an orchard on the way home, I'd pick up a bushel or so of apples, and then I would spend a day cooking them down into apple butter--which is basically applesauce that you keep cooking until it is thick, I canned it and used it for Christmas gifts, but I kept several jars--we loved it on toast! Worth the effort--yes. Would I do it now? Sadly, I no longer have the time or equipment (dutch oven, pressure cooker) to make it. 2. At our house, applesauce and football are the harbingers of fall. What ar…

Lectionary Liturgy September 28, 2014 (NL)

Call to Worship One: May the Holy One answer you when you are in distress; may the name of the God of Jacob protect you.  Many: May God send you help from the sanctuary and grant you support from Zion; may God remember all your sacrifices and accept your burnt offerings. One:  May God give you the desire of your heart and make all your plans succeed.  Many: We will shout for joy when you are victorious and will lift up our banners in the name of our God. One: May the Holy One grant all your requests.  Many: Now I know that God saves God’s anointed; God answers the anointed one from holy heaven with the saving power of God’s right hand.  One: Some trust in chariots and some in horses, but we trust in the name of the Holy One our God.  Many:  They are brought to their knees and fall, but we rise up and stand firm. 
Reconciliation/Assurance of Pardon One: Reconciliation is truth-telling—our faults and foibles, our stumbles and our falls. Let us go to God in prayer. Many: Holy One, we are no…

Lectionary Liturgy--Narrative Lectionary, September 21, 2014

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Liturgy for September 21, 2014, Narrative Lectionary Focus: Joseph
Call to Worship One: God is my strength, my rock, my fortress and my deliverer; God is my rock, in whom I take refuge. Many:  I call to God, who is worthy of praise, and I am saved from my enemies.  One: The cords of death entangled me; the torrents of destruction overwhelmed me.  In my distress I called to God; I cried to the Holy One for help. From his temple he heard my voice; my cry came before him, into his ears. Many: God reached down from on high and took hold of me; he drew me out of deep waters. God rescued me from my powerful enemy, from my foes, who were too strong for me.  God brought me out into a spacious place; he rescued me because he delighted in me.  One: You, O God, keep my lamp burning; my God turns my darkness into light Many: The Holy One lives! Praise be to my Rock! Exalted be God my Saviour! Therefore I will praise you among the nations, O God; I will sing praises to your name.
(from Psalm 18)
Reconci…