A while ago I sent out an email to a wide range of people who I can, with some accuracy, describe as friends. I asked them if they had any interest at all in an opportunity to listen to recordings of my preaching with an opportunity to interact with those sermons with me and with each other. I sent it out to about forty or so people and had literally (a word I almost invariably use correctly) no expectations about response. I did get a number of responses, while discovering a few dead links, and none of the responses were negative; no one said, “You should not do that” or “who do you think you are?” A couple of people were very up front about how they thought it was an okay, or even good, idea but they either wouldn’t have time to listen or simply did not listen to anything of a spoken word variety. So, here we are.
The title of this blog/website/??? is Words From the Middle and, as so many good things have appeared in my life, comes from Heather. I asked her what it meant to her and she wrote:
Well, I was thinking about messages being words. And then I was thinking about words from above, but that seemed somewhat presumptuous, or something like that. So, then I thought about words from below, but that doesn’t really sound very good. Then, when I thought about words from the middle, it clicked on a lot levels. Preaching is like being in the middle: trying to listen for the words of God, and applying them to the people in the pews. Preaching is speaking from the middle of life, the middle of the journey, the middle of trying.
I really like that; it grabs what I am trying to do twice a Sunday with some truly wonderful people. And now here.
I don’t know how this will work really but I’d rather get something out “there” and try to make it better than wait in vain for perfection to strike.
Blessings and let me know what you think.
Oh, one more thing. As you may notice from week to week, there are two sermons each Sunday. I am currently caring for a two point charge so I write up services for two congregations each Sunday. I try to use the same hymns but as the two congregations use different versions of the Presbyterian hymn book The Book of Praise I can’t always use the same hymns. I hasten to add that this is NOT a hardship but one of the delights of ministering to two congregations. At this time I am not including the service bulletins nor am I including a list of hymns, prayers, etc. and I will not do so unless there is a groundswell of interest in such stuff. If you really want to know what each or one congregation had for a bulletin, just let me know and I will send you the Knox or St. Mark’s or both bulletins with hymns, prayers, etc.