The Meenister’s Log
There is a pub – just an ordinary pub – a few yards from one of my former manses.
I’d pop in a couple of times a week, usually just before my evening meal, for a couple of pints.
Word got round that I was the new minister. And, initially, there would be silence from the regulars when I walked in.
Then it would be “Watch your language, the minister’s here” – said in a slightly sarcastic way.
But after a while “Watch your language….” became to be said genuinely, and any punter who used a heavy duty swear word would be reprimanded by the landlord, “Remember, the minister’s here!”
Gradually, I became one of the “locals” at this watering hole.
I’d be asked to resolve arguments, patch up broken relationships, listen to folks’ problems…. a pastoral ministry indeed, albeit in slightly unusual surroundings.
One time, I was asked if I would conduct the marriage ceremony of a middle-aged couple who had divorced but were now together again – no, the wedding service wasn’t in the pub, nor was the baptism of one of the regular’s grandchild
And then, one of the punter’s died. I was asked to conduct the funeral.
After the cremation, I drove home, while many of the mourners went to our pub.
After half an hour or so, the landlord himself came to the Manse door and said that I had been asked by the company to join them in the bar.
I’ve never been so touched in my life….. when I walked in the door, they put down their drinks and applauded me.
Some cheered but got an ironic look from the landlord who said “Keep the noise down, the minister’s here!”.