Tag Archives: preaching

Mind the Gap

Oh dear!

Even although I’ve preached here a few times, I got into a tangle at this morning’s service at which I was guest minister.

The Order of Service is a wee bit different:

A welcome song (usually a short hymn from Mission Praise) is first sung by a small choir.

Call to Worship (Minister )

Hymn
Address (more adult orientated, as no kids present)

Hymn
Prayer and Lord’s Prayer.

Readings
Hymn
Sermon

Offering

Doxology: “Praise God from whom all blessings flow”

Dedication

{note below what happened next*}
Hymn
Prayers
Hymn
Doxology: “May the God of peace go with us”
Benediction and Threefold Sung Amen

 

After dedicating the Offering, I went straight into prayers of thanksgiving/intercession….

….then the hymn following.

 

 

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So what to do next?  A space where the prayers should be…. then the last hymn etc?

I was tempted to do what a colleague in his Divinity studies days did one Sunday, during a preaching gig.

To his horror, his carefully prepared service was going to be far too short – was due to finish after 40 minutes, instead of an hour or thereabouts.

So….. he got the congregation to pray the Lord’s Prayer (again – they had already said it near the beginning of the Service.  This added a minute (if that), so he got them to repeat the Apostles Creed, which added a bit more, then, after the last hymn, desperately ad libbed a “Farewell” type prayer tagged onto the Benediction.

I did consider inserting the Nicene Creed “in the gap” – but, instead, went straight to the final Doxology and Benediction, missing out the last hymn altogether

at least, we got our post-service coffee earlier, and I got home in plenty time to watch Andy Murray’s tennis game on TV

and to a ripped apart large rubbish bag in the kitchen, where one of the culprits had also deposited something fecal beside the washing machine

Somehow it rather summed up this morning’s material for the Service: rubbish and c**p!

 

 

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“I didn’t have a watch” “No, but there was a calendar on the wall beside you”

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April 27, 2016 · 10:45

Preaching

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October 5, 2015 · 21:14

Preacher Pooch

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August 26, 2015 · 19:16

Mysterious Ways

This Sunday, I’m taking the worship service at a church (about half an hour’s drive from me).  The regular Minister was at the same Ministry Selection School with me in 1970, and our paths never crossed over all these years since then. On the next two Sunday’s, I’m in the pulpit of a newly ordained and inducted Minister, who was the trainee assistant to a Minister, who, in years gone by, was a student attachment at the Church where I was the Minister (St. Michael’s, Inveresk.). It gets stranger – the Church where I’m preaching in a couple of weeks time has, as its Session Clerk, the widow of the Minister, in whose Kirk in Edinburgh, I was the (very young) Assistant (1973-74)

Oh, and the Church where I’m preaching THIS Sunday – the predecessor of the Minister in whose Kirk grouping that I’m conducting worship? My old “boss” from all these years ago in Edinburgh!

coincidence? synchronicity? or….. something more profound?

There are more things in heaven and earth, Horatio, Than are dreamt of in your philosophy. – Hamlet (1.5.167-8), Hamlet to Horatio

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Character Reference

I was once asked to take three services, during a particular Minister’s summer holidays, when he would be absent from the Pulpit.

On my third Sunday, after parking the car, I noticed an elderly member of the Kirk struggling to negotiate the steep steps up to the building.  I caught up with her about a quarter up the “stairway to heaven”, and offered to take her arm to help her up to the church.

After a moment or so, she asked me, “And who is conducting morning worship today, young man?”

“It’s Mr Strachan”, I replied.

She then turned to me, and said, “I wonder, then, if you would be so kind as to help me back down the steps”

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Women – wheesht!

 

 

Pastor Steven L. Anderson Wants Women Silent In Church — Not Even An ‘Amen’
03/26/14  Huff Post
Pastor Steven L. Anderson of Faithful Word Baptist Church in Tempe, Arizona has drawn criticism for a sermon uploaded to YouTube on Sunday in which he makes the controversial statement: Women should remain silent in church.

Anderson refers to 1 Timothy 2:11 to establish his claim. “Let the woman learn in silence with all subjection,” he reads. “But I suffer not a woman to teach nor to usurp authority over the man.”

Anderson then flips to 1 Corinthians chapter 14, saying, “Let your women keep silence in the churches for it is not permitted unto them to speak.”

By these Biblical passages Anderson develops the argument that women may chat before the service and even sing hymns, but “when it’s learning time, it’s silence time.”

Women doing any sort of preaching, Anderson says, is out of the question. But even more, the pastor believes women should not ask questions, indicate their enthusiasm or even say ‘Amen.’

“First of all, it’s not for a woman to be doing the preaching. And second of all, it’s not for women to be speaking. Even if they were to have a question, they’re not to ask that question in the church, number one. And number two, even if they wanted to ask questions of their husband, they should wait until they get home.”
God-forbid a woman should ever disagree with Anderson (as one did at one point, the pastor mentions, causing him to “blow up.”)

The video has garnered over 14,000 views, with comments ranging from the appalled, to the dismissive, to the disconcertedly justifying.

Support generally followed this commenter’s sentiments:

“I can’t believe so many people find bible preaching so offensive. God bless you Pastor Anderson.”
Another commenter did her homework to contradict Anderson’s teaching:

“So what if a woman gets saved and her husband doesn’t? Should she not go to church then? Just confused. There seems to be some biblical contradictions to this statement and like you have instructed in the past I checked for other supporting biblical texts and found that there are women prophets in the new testament (Anna-Luke 2:36-38; and the daughters of Phillip-Acts 21:8-9) How can you prophesy and be silent??? What about Acts 2:17; Joel 2:28 in the Bible that says: And it shall come to pass in the last days, saith God, I will pour out of my Spirit upon ALL FLESH: and your sons and your DAUGHTERS SHALL PROPHESY, and your young men shall see visions, and your old men shall dream dreams.”
All in all, this commenter wasn’t too concerned:

“There’s no need to get upset over this. Just let this man have his own insular little group where he can rail against women….and Jews….and other Christians….and other Bibles….and, well, anyone who thinks differently than him. Must be fun in the kingdom of Me.”

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March 26, 2014 · 19:23

The Show Must Go On

One of the Preacher’s nightmares is to have a dodgy stomach on a Sunday morning, prior to conducting Morning Worship (tip: never have a takeaway curry the night before)

One is sitting enthroned with less than an hour to go and wondering what to do.  It has happened a couple of times – but, mercifully, I’ve had Session Clerks who could take bits of the service, while I dashed off to the church loo.

Worse – an occasion when I had to drive some distance on a particular Sunday morning to preach for a vacant Charge in the Interim-Moderator’s Church.  We set off in good time, but the snow got heavier and heavier until the road was eventually blocked.  This was in the days before mobile (cell) phones – so I had to walk through the snow-drift to a public phone box to let the Minister know that I couldn’t make it.  Poor guy – this was  his first church and so he didn’t have any “oldies” from elsewhere to fall back upon.  I hope the Holy Spirit came to his rescue!  (I later revisited – and got the post)

While a hospital chaplain, I was paged some years ago by the company which now owns the Crichton Memorial Church in Dumfries.  It would be about three in the afternoon and the Minister who was supposed to conduct the marriage ceremony (scheduled to start then) at the Church hadn’t turned up.

Could I help out?

As I wore an open-neck shirt (for hygiene reasons) and chinos at work – I said that I would have to return home to get changed into something more appropriate for a wedding – and that it would take me half an hour.  The poor bride was in tears (her mum was in tears and – later – the wedding cake was in tiers!) but after what I hoped was a reassuring chat, we got started.

It transpired that the missing Minister (who didn’t believe in rehearsals) had assumed that the Wedding was on the Saturday.  The groom and the family were not best pleased – and it even made the local rag.

On auto-pilot:  my beloved father had osophegal  cancer and died in the Western Infirmary in Glasgow in the early evening of Saturday, 21st February 1976.  After spending some time at the Hospital, I took my mother back to the family home and spent some time with her and my Father’s brother and sister who were staying with her.

About ten o’clock, I drove the thirty-odd miles to where my Church was; had a quick bite to eat, and spent the next three hours writing my sermon.

I took the Sunday service at 11 o’clock that morning, before driving back to Bearsden immediately afterwards.  And I haven’t a clue what I preached about that day.

and here’s a repost on the same subject:

Christmas Eve 1974
The Meenister’s Log

Murder in the Cathedral – well, getting duffed up on the steps of the kirk……..

I went to my first charge in June 1974 – a pleasantly quiet village where most of the excitement at Christmastide was going to look at the lights (green, amber, red, amber, green – hell , this was confusing – but exhilarating)

Anyhow, it was Christmas Eve and my first watch night service as a newly fledged meenister.

I got to the church just as the pub across the road was scaling out (whiff of the barmaid’s apron £1; sook of the spittoon £1.25; half-pint of dregs only £1.30. – I made that up)

Mind you, a few weeks before draped from the window of one of the flats above was a bed sheet with the message: “Happy 27th birthday, Granny”

OK – to our tale of woe: some of the punters from that pub decided that it would be a good idea to rough up our church officer who had asthma.

I managed to get those youths out of the building, but they started to smash up some of the diamond-shaped stained-glass windows.

So this daft wee meenister followed them outside to remonstrate; they then got stuck into me and hit on the head with an object (at that point, unknown)

The Polis arrived very quickly, and, even though they knew who the miscreants were, were annoyed when I wouldn’t make a statement.

Our Session Clerk, the saintly Dr Tom Burnett (RIP) arrived at the same time as my heavily pregnant wife. Gossip started about a Christmas baby – Matthew was actually born at the beginning of February – but he was actually putting stitches in my head (without anesthetic!)

Then right on time, I stood in the pulpit and preached about peace and goodwill toward all men.

The next day – Christmas morning – I had a 10.30 service – and, before we stated, Davie the Beadle, went to the church safe, and dialed in the code (6-6-6) opened the door and produced a dented can of Tennant’s lager (for my older friends, these were the heavier metal tins with the ‘Lovelies’ depicted thereon) – the one that had caused me to have three stitches put in my head.

I later enjoyed that can of beer – because it was ………….. Thirst after righteousness!

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Six feet above contradiction

There is no denying that some ministers are extremely tedious, and though the congregation can do nothing to mend matters, sometimes a man arises with a courage above his peers.

The sermon was on the Books of the Bible, and for fifty minutes the minister expounded his views, first on one book, and then on another until the congregation began to show signs of fatigue. At last, just as he seemed about to close he began afresh. “We have examined the five great books of Moses; we have sympathised with the patient Job; we have revelled in the psalms of David; we have braved the lions in their den with Daniel; we have been cheered with Isaiah’s ‘rapt seraphic fire’; what shall we now do with Jeremiah ”

“Jeremiah can have my seat,” replied old John the beadle, “I’m awa’ hame.”

 

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Scatology

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August 19, 2013 · 21:14