Monthly Archives: June 2016

Monastery of Kardiotissa, Crete – visited 10 June 2016

No photographs were allowed inside the small chapel, in case flash photography damaged the frescoes.  An elderly tiny wizened nun ,clothed all in black, kept a beady eye on everyone, as we listened to the travel guide’s spiel


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Mind the Gap

Oh dear!

Even although I’ve preached here a few times, I got into a tangle at this morning’s service at which I was guest minister.

The Order of Service is a wee bit different:

A welcome song (usually a short hymn from Mission Praise) is first sung by a small choir.

Call to Worship (Minister )

Address (more adult orientated, as no kids present)

Prayer and Lord’s Prayer.



Doxology: “Praise God from whom all blessings flow”


{note below what happened next*}
Doxology: “May the God of peace go with us”
Benediction and Threefold Sung Amen


After dedicating the Offering, I went straight into prayers of thanksgiving/intercession….

….then the hymn following.




So what to do next?  A space where the prayers should be…. then the last hymn etc?

I was tempted to do what a colleague in his Divinity studies days did one Sunday, during a preaching gig.

To his horror, his carefully prepared service was going to be far too short – was due to finish after 40 minutes, instead of an hour or thereabouts.

So….. he got the congregation to pray the Lord’s Prayer (again – they had already said it near the beginning of the Service.  This added a minute (if that), so he got them to repeat the Apostles Creed, which added a bit more, then, after the last hymn, desperately ad libbed a “Farewell” type prayer tagged onto the Benediction.

I did consider inserting the Nicene Creed “in the gap” – but, instead, went straight to the final Doxology and Benediction, missing out the last hymn altogether

at least, we got our post-service coffee earlier, and I got home in plenty time to watch Andy Murray’s tennis game on TV

and to a ripped apart large rubbish bag in the kitchen, where one of the culprits had also deposited something fecal beside the washing machine

Somehow it rather summed up this morning’s material for the Service: rubbish and c**p!



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Making a Living; Making a Life


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There were two funerals close together. They finished at the same time. One funeral released doves. The other funeral had a salute with several guns.  You can guess what happened…..


A Trinidadian minister writes:

The sister of deceased asked to have the casket reopened after the funeral service and before the burial. I assume for additional grieving. She bends over the deceased for a long while and comes up with…a bra! She said, ”No one should have to sped eternity in a bra.”


A Rod Stewart fan’s wife, Margaret – known as “Maggie” – passed away. It was the obvious choice for music at her funeral: Rod the Mod’s famous song, “Maggie Mae”  Unfortunately, towards the end of the song there are the words, “Maggie, I wish I’d never seen your face”  oops!




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The first two were posted by my friend (and one of my successors at Greyfriars Church in Trinidad)

The Rev Clifford Rawlins:

  • One wedding in Greyfriars saw me giving the nuptial blessing, “God the Father, God the Son…” when the bride’s mentally challenged uncle jumped up and blurted out, “AND GOD THE HOLY GHOST!” And I continued, “God the Holy Ghost…” And the man responded, jumping up and flicking his fingers in the air like a schoolboy, shouting, “See! See what I tell allyuh! Same thing I say! I know he was going to say dat!”


  • Another one by a colleague had the groom tell him, “Jes now eh Father, gimme a minute.” And he proceeded to turn around and scream, “Aaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaah, aaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaah, aaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaah!” After which he faced he minister again and calmly asked him to continue with the service.


and these from a website:


  • The uncle of the bride sent a request in since he could not attend. He asked someone to read 1 John 4:18: “There is no fear in love; instead perfect love drives out fear.” Unfortunately, the reader quoted John 4:18 at the wedding: “For you have had five husbands, and the man you now have is not your husband.”
  • The groom’s ex-wife stood in the back of the sanctuary yelling “not” as the pastor read 1 Corinthians 13.


  • This outdoor wedding had a stray dog as a guest. He kept bringing a tennis ball to the pastor and putting it at his feet.


  • During the wedding service, a guest’s phone loudly declares, “You have reached your destination.”


And two of my own:

  • After the Marriage Schedule had been signed, and the legal formalities completed, the bride and groom (both Beatles fans) walked up the aisle to the song “Ticket to Ride”


  • Just as another wedding ceremony began, a guest’s phone rang – the ringtone was the theme from “Mission Impossible “





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