#Janathon – essential sermon writing guide

2016-01-16 12.42.46My Janathon exploration today was around Salisbury, and took me to Bill’s for the first time.  Here I acquired multiple cups of coffee, a much needed sausage-in-a-bun (I think it was rather more brioche than C.M.O.T Dibbler) which was delicious, and settled down to see if I could write a sermon. It turned out that I could, although because it is for a change hand-written, I think it is far shorter than usual (stop cheering at the back!).

I then mosied (I’m sure that’s a word, but my spell checker doesn’t approve of my spelling of it) on down to Sarum College Bookshop, where I managed not only to decide on a Lent Course (thank you Ann for your help), but found they were running a Tat Fair.  For those of you unfamiliar with the term, theological colleges invite suppliers of clergy shirts, cassocks, stoles and other clerical accoutrements to come and display their ways to students who will be ordained in the summer. These events are known as “Tat Fairs”, because there one may purchase clergy tat. I have put in an order for a shirt, which I may describe in due course.

2016-01-16 14.00.39I then realised that I had time in hand so went over to Salisbury Cathedral, for a few minutes contemplation, not least to pray for the Anglican Communion and all those hurt / dismayed / worried / put off church forever / utterly delighted / a bit disappointed by recent developments. No, I’m not going to blog about that. I’m a parish priest called to love and to serve everyone in the parish and that’s that.

It wasn’t all that far, but between sermonising, chatting to ordinands (those in training for ordination), discussions with cathedral guides, and prayer, I’ve travelled a very long way indeed.

Oh, the essential components for writing a sermon? A means of recording (computer or pen and paper), the passages on which we preach, coffee, time undisturbed. And last but utterly essential, a big dollop of Holy Spirit filled inspiration.

Pace: around about right
Achievements: many
Distance: world wide

Rector’s rating: 7/10 needed to be longer with more fields!

8 responses to “#Janathon – essential sermon writing guide

  1. aren’t we all called to love and serve everyone? not just parish priests? PS as in not just parish priests called to do that, I don’t mean “everyone not just parish priests” as the recipient of our love and service? just asking….. and does that mean you can’t express openly an opinion about anything? curious…

    • Yes, we are all so called.

      There has been plenty of reaction to the Primates meeting on Social media, and so although I have my opinions, I am aware that I haven’t had much time to assimilate and reflect, and, more importantly, my focus has to be on the people with whom I minister, rather than adding to the reams already published.

      • time to assimilate and reflect is what we all need I’m sure. And I’m more than aware of the cultural minefield for the African churches, especially after my couple of years working with detainees, mostly from Africa… my own opinion, for what it’s worth, is that for the Anglican communion at this time there really is no black-and-white solution to this (although my own views are starkly resolute). However, the same arguments are _still_ used, in some circles, re women’s ordained ministry… “it upsets some people so we shouldn’t do it even if it’s the culturally and theologically right thing to do”…
        PS hope your sermon is a rip-roaring success… which is not to say that I hope that everyone will like it! 😀

  2. Interesting story today. Different, new and appropriately discrete regarding the Primates.

    I hoped that you were giving me some points for sermon writing, as we were getting some in depth advice today in our LLM modules on ‘Opening God’s Word in the World’.

    Interesting to be participating with educational assessors sitting quietly in the room looking at the content and validation of the course itself. I wonder what the outcome of that particular exercise will be.

    And I did some walking, heavy lifting (tables and chairs) and even made coffee not sure where that is in the equation, but as a Janathon it’s enough for now.

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