Quite soon after my induction to my first Charge, and the Kirk Session was discussing how as a congregation we should be advancing under our new ministry together.
After some talk about Elders’ Conferences and the like, one old boy interrupted, saying “I did realise being an Elder involved all this…. I was told that it just meant putting the Communion Cards through folks’ letterboxes” (oops!)
“Well that’s something you can do – come to the Manse tomorrow and put your letter of resignation through the letterbox there”
Minister to School Assembly: “Boys and Girls, you’ll never guess what I’ve got in my pocket?”
Pulls out a packet of condoms
“Oops, wrong pocket”
Gretna Green is renown for the number of weddings conducted there each year. A Pastor of a local independent church used to conduct hundreds of marriage ceremonies there every year in the several different venues which are licensed to allow such services, such as “The World’s Famous Old Blacksmiths” and so on.
On one occasion, his mobile phone rang while he was conducting a service. Rather than ignore it, he answered it – it was from another “Blacksmith’s venue” asking where he was.
“Sorry, running a bit late – be with you in ten minutes or so, after I’ve finished with this lot!”
“Ladies and Gentlemen, there will be a slight delay – the Bride’s waters have just broken”
“Ladies and Gentlemen, the wedding is sadly cancelled” (the bridegroom en route to the ceremony was arrested for alleged theft at a Motorway Service Station on the M6)
This particular church was plagued by pigeons. One day, the Church Officer was frantically trying to get rid of them before morning worship began.
He chased them here; he chased them there – “Bugger off! Bugger off!” he shouted but to no avail.
With that, the minister arrived. “John” he said to the Beadle, “Don’t be so coarse. Just go ‘Shoo! Shoo! ………..
“Father, I have sinned”
“I had sex twice with a prostitute last night”
“Three Hail Marys”
“But, Father, she’s a good Catholic”.
“Very well, two Hail Marys”
“And it was two for the price of one”
“Give me her address and I’ll pick up the freebie!”
……..here I speak to those who are too angry to think straight at the moment – if the church isn’t working right now, try the kingdom. Throw yourself into life among the least, the last, and the lost and rediscover the church there. St Martin-in-the-Fields is committed to making the church look and become more like God’s kingdom every day. Sometimes when we feel furious with or hurt by the church, the only thing to do is to reinvest in the kingdom. Maybe, today, in this moment of despair, that’s where hope lies.
In one of my congregations, I had the most delightful elderly lady who was a retired Matron.
Miss T.- or “Matron” as she was still called – once told me a story of when, in the distant past, she was a student nurse on a ward where a patient died suddenly just before visiting time.
The Ward Sister told her and another student to make the newly deceased look “as natural as possible” before his relatives arrived.
So young “Matron” and her colleague propped up the old fellow with pillows, closed his eyes and put on his spectacles,draped an open newspaper over his chest and put an (unlit) pipe in his hand (one could smoke in those days), giving the impression that the old boy had dozed off reading the paper.
The family duly arrived but stayed for only five minutes or so, saying “Auld soul, out for the count – but he looks so peaceful. We’ll just let him catch up with his ‘beauty sleep'”
Now, I can’t vouch for the veracity of this tale (nor her story about cleaning all the patients’ dentures together at the same time in a “Belfast” sluice)
But she told the story with more than the usual twinkle in her eye!
She went on to become one of the most loved and respected Matrons in our local hospital. RIP Miss T. (“Matron”)
A blog dedicated to the thoughts, opinions, ideas and random madness of Edward W. Raby, Sr. - Pastor, Theologian, Philosopher, Writer, Bodybuilder and Football Fan. "Yes, the dog is foaming at the mouth. Don't worry, He just had pint of beer and is trying to scare you." This is a Theology Pub so drink your theology responsibly or have a designated driver to get you home as theology can be as intoxicating as alcohol.
To conspire... act in harmony toward a common or agreed upon end. God wants to conspire with us [and] this means that God calls us to give our lives to God, to surrender completely, so we may live more fully. Dallas Willard