There are times in my life, (maybe I should say, my month? or maybe my week?) that I need to laugh at the craziness of ups and downs in the church. In fact, I have been told by several people that I should write a book about the things that have occurred while I have been serving as a pastor. I think that these well-meaning friends and acquaintances say that with the unstated understanding that I should not tell ANY stories about them. Of course. But … sometimes I just have to tell a story. So, today I am going to share some of the unbelievable stories about church life, the kind of things that others have already shared publicly, the kind of stories that haven’t happened to me directly (yet!), but I KNOW that the year is still young!
This is gonna hurt!
Every summer at Washington Family Ranch I get suckered into going on this thing called the Blob. It’s like a giant air worm sitting in a lake. The object is to run off of a high-rise platform, to the back end of the Blob thereby launching another individual off the front end in a catapult-like action.
In order to see someone get sweet air you want a bigger person to be the launcher, and a small person to be the launchee. In order to avoid mometous law suits, our camp has placed a cap on the weight difference allowed between these two individuals. However, there is a loophole in this system.
That is where my own personal h–l comes into play. The loophole allows any kid no matter how big, to launch a leader no matter how small. Without fail for the last 5 years, the biggest kid at camp asks me if I will let them Blob me.
If you find yourself in a similar situation please allow me to give you some advice (from personal experience) for surviving an extreme blobbing from high altitudes.
1. Pray. Seriously.
2. Don’t lean too far forward (this will help you avoid a belly flop).
3. Don’t lean too far back (this will help you avoid an enema).
4. If you have bubble wrap consider covering any part of your body that you value.
5. Make sure you close your legs (I cannot emphasize enough how important this is).
You can see from the picture above the person being blobbed is an amateur and will be in pain for the rest of the week, which brings me to my final point. I have a one-time, end of the week policy, which I recommend to all of you who have a pain tolerance of less than 8/10.
My congregation has heard more than one blooper come out of my mouth, (think “Senior Center singing”!) and I am grateful to my fellow clergy members for sharing their “bloopers” and their humanity!
During a Confirmation service, referring to the new converts, the pastor asked the 5 new “convicts” to come to the front of the church. He never knew what he said, but several people had to leave the building because they were laughing so hard. (uh-oh!)
While studying the intricate dress of the priests in the Old Testament, the preacher came to the part that describes how the priests put bells on the bottom of their robes. He asked, “Why do you suppose the priests had to tinkle.” After a second of silence, the class broke up with laughter.
Finally, I’ll end today’s laughfest with a joke and my own little story.
At my previous church appointment we used wireless microphones during the worship service. This helped us to move about when preaching, sharing the children’s message and prayers. These microphones were worn over the ear with the transceiver tucked into the back of the waistband of our pants. At the back of the sanctuary we had a sound technician who would mute the person not speaking and had the worship order to follow to help with the flow of the service. During one period of time my husband volunteered to take this position. One Sunday morning the lead pastor invited everyone to sit down while the choir would sing an anthem. Out of the corner of my mind I noticed several of the choir members sit down and under my breath I said, “ooh no, not everyone!”. I heard giggling from the congregation and leaned over to the choir director after the choir finished and whispered, “what was everyone laughing about?”. This started another stream of giggling in the congregation while he simply looked at me and laughed out loud. A moment later I realized that the echo in my head was not actually in my head but my own voice coming through the speakers in the church!!! Our sound tech had muted the wrong microphone and my whispers and small comments were being projected throughout the church. On the way home, the tech volunteer and I had a “sound” discussion about when to mute me – especially me!
The preacher was wired for sound with a lapel mike, (with trailing cord) and as he preached, he moved briskly about the platform, jerking the mike cord as he went.Then he moved to one side, getting wound up in the cord and nearly tripping before jerking it again. After several circles and jerks, a little girl in the third pew leaned toward her mother and whispered, “If he gets loose, will he hurt us?”