The Last Hurrah

Click here for the Lectionary Lab Live podcast

“For every thing there is a time…”

The wisdom of the Preacher rings true for us here on the Lectionary Lab.

After five years of publishing comments, ideas, stories, and sermons for the lectionary texts each week, we (Delmer and John) feel the need to “leave it lay,” as our respective elders used to say.

Thanks to all of you who have joined us for the journey; for those of you who have just recently found our site, we hate that we are not going further with you.

Please note that we will be leaving the website up for at least the next year, and you are encouraged and invited to use the Search feature to access material for any Sunday of the 3-year lectionary cycle. You can search by scripture, liturgical day, or pretty much any other way you want to try!

Delmer will continue to write weekly sermons for — we hope you’ll check him out there.

Remember our written volumes that include three sets of commentary, illustrations, and sermons for Years A, B, and C — available on

Leave us a note here, or on our Lectionary Lab Facebook page.

It’s been good, y’all!

60 thoughts on “The Last Hurrah

  1. There is a time for everything. Today is a day of mourning. You guys brought the texts alive to a southern culture that exist no other place. You will be sorely missed but we wish you nothing but the best and thank you for all that you contributed to all of Christendom.

  2. This breaks my heart! I’m not your target audience, just a layperson who enjoys getting a heads-up on the weekly readings. The podcast has been entertaining and informational, and it has really increased my appreciation of the lectionary. Thank you for that, and peace be with you.

    • Cheryl, First of all, there is no such thing as “just a layperson.” Second, I try and try to get my church-members to read and think about and pray about the texts ahead of time. In my view – the sermon is a part of the beginning of the work of preaching, not the end. the real work happens when the preacher and the hearers walk out into the world and live out the word in the midst of their community. thank you for being a member of the priesthood of believers and taking that calling seriously.

  3. Your wisdom, your wit, your varied backgrounds, your voices, all will be sorely missed! As a chaplain, my main “job” is serving hospice patients, and yet still have 2 very different worship services to prepare and preach for a continuing care community. The Two Bubbas have been a major part of my processing and pondering as I have prepared my messages this last year. Deep grief here, as I feel like two dear friends have moved away. Yes, we’ll be able to read your written wisdom, but your voices….sigh….May God bless you both in your next adventures!

  4. Thank you Stephanie – so glad that we have been helpful in your ministry, And it was our hope that tuning in to the show would be like having coffee and sermon talk with a couple of preacher friends, so you have confirmed that our hope was fulfilled, at least for you. Peace and gratitude. Delmer

  5. Thank you for your comments each week. even up here in the North, they always made me think and made my sermons better. Blessings.

  6. Dear Sue – I used to have a fellow in my church in Nashville who came out of the church about every other week, shook my hand, frowned, and said, “Don’t do that.” “Do what?” I asked. “Make me think.” he said. He was from the North (as were about half my parishioners in that church – the mid-west Lutheran diaspora) so making people from the North think must be one of my spiritual gifts. Seriously, thank you for listening and thank you for caring enough to write a note of thanks. As some of my Southern parishioners might say, “We appreciate you!”

  7. Well I haven’t been keeping up with you 2 bubbas as I should have. I will mourn the Lectionary Lab going away. Both of you made a very positive image of a healthy enlightening southern view of scripture. I will miss hearing from both of you on your live pod cast. You never failed to make me think about what you said. and I even changed my point of view several times. Does this mean no more workshops for Lent or advent?
    Buddy Beaver

  8. Buddy — you were one of the guys who helped us get it started! We’ll miss doing “the show” every week. But, we will still have retreats when and where we can, so stay in touch with Delmer. Thanks again, friend!

  9. Buddy, you were as faithful listening to us as any retired pastor needs to be. We will continue to do workshops. We’re doing one at Lutheranch in Tallapoosa (sp?) GA in January for the Lenten texts. Check with “NovusWay” and signup. And, getting an old hard-headed German like you to change his mind? Gee, we must of been doing something right. Will wonders never cease. 😉

  10. I retired 10 years ago after serving 8 United Methodist Churches. For the past years I’ve been a chaplain at a nearby retirement center, where I lead weekly Bible studies & monthly chapel services. You have enriched my life & indirectly, the lives of those with whom I share your insights. Thank you! I’m a bit saddened, but I understand and support your decision. Folks used to ask me “How do you know when it’s time to move on?” I’d reply, “I rather hear people say ‘Goodbye’ rather than ‘Good riddance!'” So, goodbye and God bless!

  11. Indeed it has been very good! I’m a fairly new Episcopal priest, ordained a little over two years ago and then called to a small rural parish (when I was accustomed to a large suburban congregation), on my own and with clergy colleagues some distance away. You two have helped fill my need for preaching companions! I’ve felt warm support and encouragement of two great, experienced friends — not to mention the wonderful insights and ideas. You will be greatly missed. Thanks for helping me learn how to be a better preacher and pastor. Blessings to you both as you continue into new ventures wherever the Spirit calls!

  12. Well Mother Seifert, we are so glad that you found our website and podcast. One of the ideas John and I collaborated on 10-15 years ago was called the First Parish Project. for pastors like you – raised in Suburban parishes and assigned to small rural congregations and in the first 5 years of ministry. Glad to know our work is still helpful for folk in that setting. thank you for being a part of our cyber-community.

  13. I have appreciated your wit, wisdom, and insight over the years. I have frequently consulted your blog as I prepared my sermons. And I have always gotten a chuckle from folks when I gave credit to “Two Bubbas and a Bible.” Along with so many others I wish you both blessings on your continued journeys, but I will miss this blog!

    • Thanks Kerry. I’ve been to Yakima – back when we were doing the First Parish Project I went to visit the pastors in the program, there was a Lutheran pastor in Goldendale Washington. I drove there from visiting a pastor in Portland, then drove up from Goldendale to Yakima and then took the Interstate into Seattle to see some other folk. Beautiful country, lovely town. (Another rabbit trail, sorry) Thank you for listening, I’ve often been called witty but seldom wise, so that must be the other Bubba you’re talking about there. Thanks for the thanks and the blessing.

  14. I have never met either of you but I feel as if I am losing two friends and mentors. I am a lay minister in the far western part of Nebraska and never miss what you have to say. Blessings on whatever lies ahead for you.

    • You’re the one we almost didn’t make this decision for, Cindy! We do hate leaving good friends behind in this journey, and we pray the very best for you in your ministry.

    • Cindy, it was our hope when we started this that we could be of help to lay minister and local pastor in isolated places. This came out of my time on staff at the Hinton Rural Life Center in Hayesville, NC – a Mission Agency of the United Methodist Church which serves the church of small membership. John also had some involvement at Hinton by being on planning and support teams for the First Parish Project. Glad to know that our hope was being fulfilled. Though we seldom heard back from our listeners, we were aware that we had friends all over the country faithfully listening to us. Thank you.

  15. Oh no! You chaps have really lightened my spirit and informed my thinking over the years. I have loved and enjoyed your friendly banter and theological insights from your particular perspective in the southern states, as I’ve thought through my approach to preaching to my own context here across the pond.
    Blest wishes to you both in your respective ministries, and a Blessed and Holy Advent. (Church of England vicar in UK)

    • Well, Paul, we hope we haven’t mussed it all up for good…but, we thank you for your support across these years. We always knew we had you and a few others “across the pond,” and thoroughly enjoyed our international audience!

    • Paul, the only other Willis I have known owned a small store/gas station on the corner near my first parsonage, almost 40 years ago. His name was Nub Willis. When I – the 24 year old “student pastor” – innocently asked him why they called him “Nub,” he held up his right hand which was missing three fingers. (Industrial accident in a saw mill.) All I could think of to say was “oh.” Another lesson in pastoral care – be circumspect in the questions you ask. Well, to the point – Paul, thank you for listening faithfully; we’ve often wondered how our “context specific” stories played in “other contexts,” but I always remembered the words of a pastoral care mentor; “Underneath the externals, people all over the world are more alike than otherwise.”
      I believe that’s so. Thank you for thanking us. Blessings on your ministry.

  16. NO!!!! Yours is the first place I look every week to see how you have treated the texts and to enjoy your outlooks – which come from a very different setting than mine. But I still find much alike and much to build on. Blessings and thank you for all you have given us.

  17. I’m so sorry to find this message. I will miss you all weekly, but I’m glad the retreats/workshops will continue, and I hope to see you again someday. Thank you so much for the insight, wit, and reflections you’ve shared each week. Blessings upon both you Bubbas!

    • Hey Mary Ann, good to hear from you. Hope things are going well down in south Georgia. Like John said, thanks for being a part of that first brave group that came up the mountain to Hinton for a Lec Lab Workshop. Thanks for thanking us, and hope to see you at a future workshop.

  18. I will miss you very much. Lectionary Lab is my first stop on sermon prep list. I have enjoyed sharing your wit and humor with my congregations and they have enjoyed your with and humor as well. There are times and seasons for all things. May your next season be blessed.

    • Pastor Bonham, thank you for your note. It’s nice to be missed. (Like Mama said, “Better Good Luck than Good Riddance”) As to the wit and humor, one of my parishioners in Nashville remarked upon my leaving that congregation after almost 9 years. “Before you came I didn’t know the difference between being solemn and being serious. As I have listened to you preach I have discovered that you are at your most serious when you are being the least solemn.” I have always considered that a high compliment on my preaching – right up there with the time Ms. Blalock told me that people in her church liked me because, “You’re simple minded like us.” Thanks for reading and listening and God bless you in your ministry.

  19. I too will miss you very much! I’m an Episcopal priest in New York who grew up in North Carolina, went to college in Boone, and have so appreciated your conversation, your deep spiritual insight, and your Southern hospitality! Blessings to you both, dear brothers, and thank you for the ways you have inspired me.

    • Well, thank you Mother Kopren! Speaking of Episcopal priests in New York who are originally from North Carolina – do you know Matthew Wright? He’s from Messiah, Murphy, went to UNC-CH and Virginia Theological Seminary and is serving in Woodstock, NY. Again, thank you for reading and listening and for being so kind as to let us know you appreciate us and will miss us.

  20. Oh, I’m going to miss you two so much! I’m serving an Episcopal parish on the South Shore of Long Island, but am from North Georgia and went to Western Carolina. Your Southern voices and stories fed me and reminded me of home! Mother Clare Nesmith

    • Mother Clare, we will miss providing the conversation each week, as well. We especially mourn the passing of sharing our Southernisms with people that “get it!” God bless you in your ministry on Long Island. Let us hear from you again some time.

      • Mother Clare, thank you for listening and for thanking us. I was in Sylva/Cullowee twice this week – once with the Episcopalians at St. John’s in Sylva and once with the Lutheran Pastors group meeting at Shepherd of the Hills Lutheran in Cullowee. I’m glad you are setting ’em straight on Long island and that, in our small way, we were helpful to you.

  21. John and Delmer,
    We Quakers will miss you as well. At least I’ll have the commentaries. Vol. III is on the way! Best to you both.

  22. Delmer and John, I’m late to this game but my feelings are no less real. When I logged onto your site this morning and read your Dec. 15 posting I felt a sense of loss. As an Anglican Lay Reader who preaches only occasionally I must admit that I don’t (didn’t) read your commentary every week. That said when I did I always felt that you were speaking to me. And believe me I, like many others I suspect, made good use of both your insights and your humour. I wish that I could sit in a pew some Sunday and listen to you preach but 2000 km is a long way to drive even for a great sermon. 🙂 So may God continue to bless both of you and thanks so much for all the wisdom you have provided.

  23. Ah, Pat — perhaps you say, as we do “across the pond,” better late than never! It is nice to hear from you. We are pleased to know that you found our efforts helpful. May God bless you in your continuing ministry. And, if you do make it to the States, you are most welcome to come on in and sit a spell!

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