Wednesday, 21 January 2009

From desperate preacher to Disclosing new worlds

When I was in pastoral ministry I would regularly lurk and occasionally comment on websites with discussion forums on the lectionary readings for that week. I particularly liked Frank Schaefer's Desperate Preacher site - those were the days when the whole site was free, but even today the weekly lectionary discussion forums can be joined without any fee and they are a good place for solitary pastors and preachers to go to feel more connected, less lonely and less desperate too! I keep meaning to try and set up something like this in French but I supose I won't get around to it, though Frank Schaefer is originally German and set up the site in English. Over the years I have really appreciated Chris Haslam's excellent week by week introduction to the lectionary texts, especially as that site also used to have material in French and still has material in Portuguese. I particularly like the "clippings" sections, bits of interesting commentary information that have been clipped from the main commentary.
Now I'm not so much in the weekly disicpline of sermon writing I don't visit these sites quite so often but I still enjoy Theolog a blog of the Christian Century and reading sermons written by others, Margot Kässmann's make for good reading - though most of them are in German.
Lawrence Moore who is director of the United Reformed Church's Windermere Centre hosts an interesting site called Disclosing New Worlds which is building into a good resource for preachers. The site follows the revised common lectionary through the church year and has good photos and art work. It also has other essays including one by Matthew Paris on Africa needs God and another by Lance Stone on The Preaching Task - Picking a Fight with the Text. Go and have a look around.
Meanwhile I've been enjoying Prayer for a serene Realist by Iwan Russell Jones on Ship of Fools about Barrack Obama and Reinhard Niebuhr. It's an essay not a sermon but in this historic week it's all grist to the preaching mill. Here's the opening paragraph:

As Barack Obama enters the White House, it is already clear that few more thoughtful and intellectual men have been elected President. In this essay to celebrate the inauguration, Iwan Russell Jones traces the connections between Obama and the theologian Reinhold Niebuhr, and asks whether we are about to see a fresh chapter in the troubled relationship between politics and religion in America.

1 Comment:

Lawrence said...

Jane, many thanks for this! I found the link on my dashboard. Your blog is a rich discovery! If you're at all interested in submitting any sermons (esp for Pentecost!) please let me know - I'm still looking!